Winemaker's Update

– Matt Brady, SAMsARA Winemaker

Winemaker’s Update – January 18, 2019

2018: One of the Best Vintages of the Decade

“I’m still really excited about the 2018 vintage.  I think its safe to say that it will be one of the best vintages of the decade.  All of the wines have great concentration, great flavors, and great balance.  Low pH, big acidity . . . all of the things that really make our wines work, we got out of 2018.  This is really the first chance we’ve had to wrap our heads around what we have in 2018 and we’re very, very pleased.”

“Specifically, the 2018 Chardonnay is well on its way to being a fresh and bright and acid driven wine, that also has rounded texture, richness and depth.  The Chardonnays are slowly ticking away, finishing their malolactic fermentation, and I expect that to be complete sometime in the next four to six weeks, so that’s super exciting.”

Increased Control

“The most exciting thing about the new facility for me, as the winemaker, is the increased control that I now have over everything.  We’re a small, little winery, but we’re now able to experiment with a lot of different things that were weren’t able to play with before.  Even out smallest lots are broken down and vinified separately which allows us to play with different percentages of stem inclusion and other things.  Its a great way to introduce complexity into our wines at an early stage by doing these micro-lot ferments and the differences in stem inclusion are a big part of that.”

Showing and Sharing In a Whole New Way

“The new facility is great for our club members, customers, and visitors because all of our wine production is now on site, 10 feet away.  The designers and builders did a really great job of linking the winery and the tasting room in a way that makes them feel like one space.  It really gives our guests the opportunity to experience our wine making process first hand.  And that really jives with SAMsARA Wine Co. in general.  We’re making really honest, transparent wines and the design of the facility really helps show that.  We don’t add anything to our wines, not even yeast, and we’re really just trying to harness everything the vineyard has to give us . . . to guide it and protect it along the way, through a low intervention wine making style.  This building makes it easy to show off along the way.  Every one can see what a natural, honest process it is and it makes for a really cool educational experience as well.”  

“We walk from the tasting room and onto the winery floor and can talk about how, where, and why we do certain things, in the cellar, and in wine production, and it really helps people connect the dots in their own minds.  After you’ve seen somebody foot stomp and process 1.5 tons of fruit, there is a greater appreciation for what goes into each bottle of wine.”

“It s a lot of fun when people visit during harvest, to see all of that action.  Sometimes people stick around a little too long and get put to work!  We had a lot of visitors in 2018 that did some work on the sorting table, did a bit of foot stomping, or did a few punch downs for us.  That kind of hands on experience isn’t something you can get at any winery these days. Its still cool for me too!  2018 was my fourteenth harvest in Santa Barbara and I still get a kick out of it each year.  Its the most fun, energetic time of year for us when we’re squishing grapes and filling up barrels and we love to share it all with our fans, customers and club members.  The new facility allows us to show and share what we do in a whole new way.”