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SAMsARA Wine Co.

Sta. Rita Hills AVA

A tiny family winery focused on terroir and celebrating the life cycle of every grapevine, SAMsARA Wine Company produces limited-release wines from carefully selected, distinctive micro-sites in Sta. Rita Hills.

Originally founded in 2002 by Chad and Mary Melville, SAMsARA Wine Company produces limited releases of Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache from carefully selected sites within the Sta. Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County. Since the beginning, it has been their goal to showcase the distinctive natural elements at play on each vineyard, and craft wines with the utmost expression of fruit, soil, site and region (otherwise known as terroir). This goal is certainly being achieved, as the SAMsARA wines aren't just distinctive, they also earn top ratings and reviews from the wine industry's most prominent figures. In fact, Antonio Galloni of Vinous magazine has stated, "SAMsARA's Pinots and Syrahs are wines that stand out for their purity and degree of which they reflect their origins."

Chad Melville is also the co-owner of the celebrated Melville winery in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley. His father, Ron Melville, founded the winery in 1989 and together they have built it into one of the region's most well-known family wineries. When Chad became more involved with his family's winery, he decided to sell the SAMsARA Wine Company to its current owners, Joan and Dave Szkutak. Joan and Dave were long time customers and SAMsARA wine club members and were thrilled to continue the tradition started by Chad and Mary Melville.

New England natives, Joan and Dave Szkutak both held successful business careers that involved extensive international travel and helped to develop their passion for food and wine. After visiting some of the world's greatest winegrowing regions, the Szkutaks found themselves returning time and again to Santa Barbara County, where a combination of diverse, site-specific wines, friendly people, and a close proximity to the Pacific Ocean sparked their imagination. Today, they help guide SAMsARA as vintners and work closely with winemaker Matt Brady, supporting his creative decisions in both the vineyard and the cellar.

SAMsARA's namesake comes from Sanskrit and means "the eternal cycle of life." It represents the eternal cycle that every vine and wine goes through in its lifetime. Plus, this circle of passion, oneness, and harmony are core values in SAMsARA's winemaking process. These wines are honest, complex, serious and unique, representing some of the best in quality and value in Santa Barbara County.

We are happy to share this excellent bottling with our Pinot Noir Wine Club members. Enjoy!

Map of the area

Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear <i>Platinum Wine Club</i> Members,

We are delighted to share one of our favorite SAMsARA wines with you - our 2015 Pinot Noir, Las Hermanas Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills.

Las Hermanas Vineyard is located on the western edge of Sta. Rita Hills and our block is located near the top of the vineyard. It is very steeply sloped and covered with large pieces of limestone. The vineyard manager claims that our block is the coldest spot in the AVA. We are not sure if it is the coldest in the AVA, but it certainly is one of the coldest spots in the AVA! The marine-based soils and significant deposits of limestone produce wines that have amazing minerality and mid-palate texture.

SAMsARA is a small winery located in an industrial complex in Goleta, just across the 101 from the Santa Barbara Airport. We are committed to using environmentally friendly practices in our SIP Certified winery. The resulting wines are built on balance, harmony with nature, and listening to and responding to the needs of both our vineyards and wines in the cellar; a commitment to making ‘vineyard-driven wines.’ Our Old World winemaking techniques, native yeast, whole cluster fermentation, manual punch downs, and extended barrel aging in mostly neutral French Oak produce wines that are distinctive with a powerful finish and rich mid-palate texture. The extended barrel and bottle aging ensure our wines have excellent aging potential, as you will experience with this 2015 Las Hermanas Vineyard Pinot Noir, which is still youthful with great fruit on the palate and a long finish.

We hope you enjoy this wine as much as we do! Please come visit us in Goleta the next time you are in the Santa Barbara area.


Dave and Joan Szkutak
SAMsARA Wine Co.

Matt Brady - Winemaker

Picture of Matt Brady - Winemaker

In 2017, when Joan and Dave Szkutak stepped in as the new SAMsARA owners, they immediately knew who to hire as SAMsARA's winemaker: Matt Brady.

Born in Fort Myers, Florida, Matt Brady moved to the West Coast at the age of 7 and was immediately captivated by the landscape and the beaches. By the time he had his driver's license, he was off-roading throughout the mountain ranges and canyons of Southern California and down the Baja peninsula. As a college student at University of California Santa Barbara, he explored the fell in love with the Santa Barbara region and would often go wine tasting on the weekends.

In 2005, Matt joined the iconic Jaffurs Winery team and worked his first harvest in the cellar. By 2012, he had been promoted through the ranks to Co-Winemaker, and by 2015, he was Head Winemaker. Also during his tenure at Jaffurs, he worked the 2009 harvest at Two Hands, in the Barossa Valley of Australia.

In 2017, Matt happily joined the SAMsARA Wine Company. Known for his keen understanding of balance, structure, and texture in wine, his wines have received much critical acclaim and he is honored to help continue the legacy of this boutique Sta. Rita Hills winery.