Sam Smith was captivated by vineyards from a very young age, spending many weekends cycling on California’s Central Coast with his father. Sam attended UC Santa Barbara and studied French, Spanish, and Economics, for an intended career in international business. A desire for wine knowledge and proximity to good surf led him to a semester in Bordeaux, quickly changing his focus from business to wine. A tour and tasting at Château Lynch–Bages, followed by an epiphanous pairing of confit de canard and ’89 Margaux solidified his future direction and passion.
Upon return to California, Sam jumped headfirst into the wine industry, working harvests in Santa Barbara, Australia, the Willamette Valley, and the Northern Rhône. His three years as assistant winemaker at Margerum Wine Company were bookended by experiences with Pinot Noir in Oregon and cool-climate Syrah at Domaine François Villard. Though he completed the UC Davis Extension winemaking program, it’s Sam’s international experience and desire to make cool-climate wines that pair well with food that guide his style. His goal of unmanipulated elegance and balance is a perfect fit with Morgan’s dedication to organic wine growing and its SLH-focused portfolio of wines.