Community Focus: Jen Malkin

Jen Malkin, SAMsARA Wine Co.
How did you arrive at SAMsARA Wine Co?


“I got connected to SAMsARA through my decade-long friendship with our winemaker, Matt Brady who needed some help with harvest. Not knowing all that being a harvest assistant entailed, I very willingly signed up.”

What is your role with SAMsARA Wine Co?

“I am the Direct to Consumer sales manager. I oversee both tasting rooms, our relationships with hotels and other vendors, as well as some aspects of marketing.”

What is your usual schedule?

“Every day for me is different, so I don’t have a usual schedule. My time largely revolves around the events that we put on and participate in.  One of the things that I love about my role it is that every day is really different. I tend to be in the Goleta Winery and Tasting Room six days a week and sometimes seven when we are expecting a big group or a big party to make sure everyone gets the SAMsARA experience!”

What is  your favorite thing about Santa Barbara Wine Country?

“My absolute favorite thing about Santa Barbara Wine Country is the diversity on multiple levels. Santa Barbara produces great wines from a ton of different varietals and each wine tells its own story, each vineyard tells its own story, and each winery tells its own story. And the other thing I truly love about Santa Barbara Wine Country is how supportive each winery is of each other. It’s not this crazy competitive industry. Everybody wants everybody else to succeed and that’s really cool.”

What is your favorite current release wine from SAMsARA?

“My favorite current release wine is our 2014 Zotovich Syrah. I grew up in an Italian family, and we always had a really good bottle of wine open. This Syrah is great with food but it also really excellent to drink on its own.”

What are you most excited about at SAMsARA today?

“I’m most excited about our Chardonnay program.  Our first vintage made in 2017 has been a huge success and we’re actually low on inventory of both the Santa Rita Hills and the Zotovich Vineyard Chardonnays just 4 months after they were released!  We wish we’d made more!  My favorite moment is watching people taste our Chardonnay, especially those who don’t typically like Chardonnay. The most common response is, “Wow! This is excellent!” It’s a very rewarding moment!”