Winemaker, Arkenstone Vineyards
You will hear winemakers say that paying attention to detail is critical, but Sam Kaplan, Arkenstone's Winemaker, takes it to another level. In the caves at Arkenstone, he has the luxury to do just that.
After graduating from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Sam was offered an internship at Pine Ridge Winery in 1998 for his first vintage. He then met the de Leuze family at ZD and worked his way from a cellar worker to the cellarmaster position. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to Assistant Winemaker, where he worked for nearly seven years learning not only winemaking and grape growing, but established a solid understanding in sales. In 2006, Sam met Ron and Susan Krausz and was offered the opportunity to help create their dream --a new winery called Arkenstone up on a spectacular shoulder property of Howell Mountain.
As Winemaker and overseer of the vineyards, Sam maintains the integrity and quality of Arkenstone wine. The depth, complexity, and balance of the wines are evidence of the tremendous breadth of his abilities. Passionate about organic farming, he loves spending time walking the vineyards with the crews, taking note of the tiniest details that ultimately shape each vintage.
The maxim that Sam lives by: Make the best damn wine possible and have fun doing it.
Country born: United States
Education: BA, Lewis and Clark
Enology coarsework at UC Davis and Napa Valley College
Years in the wine industry: 15-20 years
My goal is to highlight the specific vineyards and bring balance and focus to the wines. I make wines that are approachable upon release, yet are very age worthy.