Samantha Rudd

Samantha Rudd

Rudd Oakville Estate (Winemaker)

Samantha Rudd grew up on the Rudd Oakville Estate in Napa Valley. At the young age of nine, she made a commitment to her father, founder of the estate, that when she assumed the reins there, she would leave the property to the next generation in a state that was better than when taking it over. Not surprisingly, at that time she knew little of the effort and years that it would take to bring to the leadership position she has today.

Samantha’s choice of a major hardly was a harbinger for a career in the wine industry, as she majored in Political Science and Government at Scripps College in Claremont, California, earning her B.A. degree there in 2010. She then spent the next three years as Director of Hospitality at her parents’ winery before becoming General Manager at Clos Pegase Winery. After nearly two years in this role, she spent the Fall of 2015 as an intern at Château Margaux in France and subsequently assumed her current position as Vintner at Rudd Oakville Estate in early 2016. Her education in winemaking was not through formal academic coursework, but rather was “hands on,” through internships and working side-by-side with her father for some two decades.

When she took on her new role at the estate, Samantha lost no time in implementing her long-term vision for the property, which ranged from maintaining the commitment to organic farming practices to innovative winemaking practices, such as the use of alternately inverted steel tanks, concrete eggs, and terra cotta amphorae for fermentation.

The varietals produced at Rudd are Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and other offerings are a red and a white blend. A second label, Crossroads, is being introduced and will include an Oakville Cabernet and a Sauvignon Blanc. These additions will allow Samantha to use all of the fruit produced in the estate’s vineyards.