Sta. Rita Hills AVA
Using traditional French winemaking techniques to produce wines that reflect their origin and journey from grape to glass
One of Santa Barbara’s tiniest and most interesting new wine producers is Potek Winery, an ultra-boutique brand developed by winemaker Dave Potter, who also happens to be the founder of the hip Municipal Winemakers winery (otherwise known as ‘Muni’), also located in Santa Barbara. While Municipal Winemakers offers a fresh, vibrant, value-driven portfolio, Potek leans more on the serious side, focusing on crafting complex, aged, single-vineyard wines from some of Santa Barbara County’s best world-class vineyards. This new venture is also personal to Dave Potter in more ways than one.
Raised in Rancho Cucamonga, Dave Potter earned his degree in Global Studies at UCSB and found his start in the wine industry working at Sunstone Winery’s tasting room (Santa Ynez Valley) while finishing up his education. He transitioned into the cellar, and immediately was consumed with the lure of winemaking. Dave went on to earn his Masters in Viticulture and Enology in Australia, and then honed his winemaking techniques in the Southern Rhône before returning to the Central Coast and making wine for Fess Parker and Epiphany Cellars. In 2007, he ventured on his own, starting Municipal Winemakers and opening up his eclectic tasting room in the artsy ‘Funk Zone’ of downtown Santa Barbara. After much success with his Muni brand, Dave decided it was time for another project: enter Potek Winery.
Potek Winery was named for Dave’s great grandfather, Berl Potek, who immigrated to the United States from Romania in the early 1900’s. As Berl passed through Ellis Island, his name was changed to Benjamin Potter. His courage to search for a better life, along with the immigrant’s experience of adapting to a new environment, has always inspired Dave’s approach to winemaking, thus he felt compelled to pay homage to family with this new label. Speaking of labels, the Potek wine label is also a nod to family - although it may appear as funky graphics, the design is actually based on traditional Romanian textile patterning. Berl Potek, along with Dave’s grandfather and father, had all worked in the fabric industry.
Dave Potter crafted the first vintage for Potek Winery in 2012, and he opened his second tasting room in 2015, in a modern, newly renovated space coined ‘The Mill,’ also located in downtown Santa Barbara. He currently makes Riesling, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and a Blanc de Noir sparkling wine, all of which are extremely limited in production. Dave applies traditional French winemaking techniques to produce wines that reflect their origin and journey from grape to glass, as purely as possible. He works with only the most interesting and pioneering vineyards in Santa Barbara, and the results are complex, balanced, beautifully expressive wines - several of which have earned top marks from the industry’s most revered periodicals. We are happy to introduce Potek Winery to our Platinum PLUS! Wine Club members, and share one of Dave’s latest releases.