Woman-Owned Wineries featured winemaker in July 2020 was Sonja Magdevski of Santa Barbara County. Our live interview with her, hosted by founder Amy Bess Cook, covered a range of topics–from her unlikely path, to agricultural labor, to vinous cider, and the limitations of labels.
A journalist by training, Sonja earned a Fulbright Scholarship in 1998 to The Republic of Macedonia, where she traces her heritage. While traveling, she toured her family’s agricultural property, which included ancient grapevines. She returned to California inspired to make wine in her garage, picking up enology and viticulture coursework at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
Sonja is now the winemaker and visionary behind several wine labels, also operating Casa Dumetz tasting room and Babi’s Beer Emporium in Los Alamos.
Says Sonja, “I have discovered that winemaking and writing are very similar pursuits – the story is in the grapes, the harvest, the people, and the season. Each year is a fresh renewal.”