Community Focus: Lee DelMartini

Lee Del Martini pouring Sta Rita Hills Pinot Noir

How did you arrive at SAMsARA Wine Co?


“Ten years ago, I had been retired for about a year and my girlfriend told me I needed to get a job.  I got into the wine industry working one day a week and she said ‘that’s not enough’.  So I went on craigslist and responded to a posting.  I met with Chad Melville two hours later and the rest is history!”

What is your role with SAMsARA Wine Co?

“I’m in the tasting room greeting guests, in the warehouse fulfilling orders . . . pretty much wherever I’m needed.  Now I work mostly in the tasting room and the warehouse, but I also helped make all of the wines through 2015.”

What is your usual schedule?

“Every Saturday I am at the Los Olivos Tasting Room and I also fill for others when needed.”

What is  your favorite thing about Santa Barbara Wine Country?

“What I like is the easygoing nature of the people who work in the industry and their collaborative nature.  Everyone in the industry wants to help each other make the best wines possible and to make Santa Barbara County a more well known wine making area nationally and internationally.”

What is your favorite current release wine from SAMsARA?

“Ooooh!  My current release favorite is the 2014 Turner Vineyard Syrah.  The Turner Vineyard Syrah is always my favorite.  I’m a Syrah guy.  It’s got old world characteristics that are kind of earthy and amazing!”

What are you most excited about at SAMsARA today?

“It would be Chardonnay. The first Chardonnays that Matt made are . . . WOW!  When I went to France in 2018, I was blown away with Chablis and Chardonnay during whole trip!  The first vintages that Matt has put out have been just awesome and I’ve got the Chardonnay bug as a result.”