Work Vineyard, purchased in 2007 by owners Lamya and Suresh (Sam) Malhotra, is a continuation of a labor of love started by its original owners, the Work Family, who founded the estate in 1976. Beautifully situated just north of Calistoga, Work Vineyard has a picture perfect location, surrounded by the beauty of the Napa Valley and Mt. St. Helena as its backdrop. From the first moment she set foot in Calistoga, Lamya knew it would be her future home. “There’s no place like Calistoga. This city embodies everything I love about small towns and rural charm, from its wonderful people to its peaceful mornings”.
Growing up in the Middle East, Lamya thanks her grandfather for instilling an appreciation of wine at a very young age. “He made wine the very old fashioned way (in clay pots) in his home cellar,“ Lamya told Visit Calistoga. Sharing these special moments with her grandfather helped Lamya appreciate the art and science of winemaking from an early age, a natural skill she inherited from her roots and culture. Lamya’s youthful dream of one day owning a winery became a reality after moving to the United States many years later and visiting the Napa Valley.
Lamya and Sam have implemented sustainable farming techniques and earth conservation values at Work Vineyard. Along with their winemaker, Kari Auringer Lamya controls the winemaking process from seedling to first sip; a role they cherish. “For us, it’s called man meets terroir, or a deep understanding of studying our soil and how we implement these necessary initiatives”, Lamya stated. These initiatives include subtle-and nearly daily-adjustments to how much water is used, when to prune, and resource management. Work Vineyard produces several wines and each varietal is labeled with a nod to the family name including Jacklyn’s Chardonnay, Zina’s Pinot Noir and Lamya’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
When not overseeing the daily operations at Work Vineyard, you’ll likely find Lamya cooking for loved ones, and perhaps engaging in a fun game of table tennis. When she wants to unwind and relax, it’s more about a calm moment; “I sit still for a moment and take a few deep breaths. Any way I can slow down time is when I find myself most relaxed, especially when it’s time spent with my children and grandchildren,” Lamya told Visit Calistoga.
When talking with Lamya it is clear that she has a passion for hospitality. Had she not purchased the vineyard, Lamya imagines herself working for a hotel or airline. “The personal interactions of this industry and seeing our club members enjoy our wines is what gets me the most excited about making boutique wines, “ Lamya told us. Always at the ready with her iPhone to capture the region’s natural beauty, you’ll easily spot Lamya in a crowd thanks to her signature accessory – an orange-colored scarf or pair of shoes. Her favorite wine country essential? An orange Work Vineyard corkscrew that represents her favorite color and the brand color of Work Vineyards.
“Always follow your dreams and intuition. Do not wait for the right time.” Lamya told Visit Calistoga when discussing advice to her younger self. Now, Lamya’s decades long youthful dream of owning her own vineyard has been fulfilled and we couldn’t be happier that she chose Calistoga to realize it. This is Calistoga and this is Lamya Malhotra of Work Vineyard.
This is Calistoga is our blog series profiling our members, their stories and life in Calistoga. Check in regularly and follow along.