(Post number 2 of our Wine Tour through California. For a little more information, or to read from the start of our journey, see our blog post about Melville Winery.)
After a ridiculously great lunch in the vineyard with Chad and more Melville juice we followed Chad to his own little piece of heaven Samsara, located in the Lompoc wine ghetto. A row of tasting rooms in an industrial park where you’ll find Samsara (sand script for cycle of life) where Chad and his charming wife Mary pump out 1200 cases annually of 6 pinots, 4 Syrah’s and 1 Grenache. Here the focus is on longer aging in older barrels, native yeast, and everything is handled in 2 ton fermenters, unfined and unfiltered. Now in their 10th year of production Samsara makes wines of rustic power and grace, with concentration of wild herb and umami like flavors with just a hint of animal earthiness. As we entered the barrel room, and shut the door behind us to retain the 55 degree atmosphere I overheard the birthday girl of the tour, Gina Porter Alcos in her best inside voice say “I feel like I’m in the womb”. After an in depth tutelage from Chad about the landscape and oceanography lesson of the nearby Pacific, and tasting of 6 more wines it was time to board the bus, we had to hit the Hitching Post for some classic Santa Barbara bar b q and the first of what we did not know would become many Happy Birthday songs followed by our pilot Baxter singing the Bee Gees on our ride home.