Samantha Sheehan

Samantha Sheehan

POE Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Samantha Sheehan grew up in Toluca Lake, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Her home was near a pond and golf course, and she could see Universal Studios from her upstairs bedroom window. This is relevant to her background because the studio had filmed “The Raven” nearby, and the wild birds “starring” in it were released after filming was complete; they found a comfortable home in the form of the pond and golf course; experiencing their presence was a source of fond memories for Samantha.

However, growing up in Los Angeles, she knew nothing about wine, but becoming friends with a French wine importer sparked her interest in it and prompted a visit to the Burgundy and Champagne regions of France. The experience led her to change her mind from enrolling at Tulane University to study law to majoring in finance at Southern Methodist University, entering in 2001 and earning a BBA degree four years later.

After graduating, Samantha joined Deloitte, an accounting firm, but after four years found that her heart was in grapes. She returned to California and took a harvest internship at a crush pad in the Napa Valley, where she was mentored by Mark Herold. While still learning the tricks of the winemaking trade, she worked for Ferrington Vineyard in the Anderson Valley, where she encountered ravens that lived nearby, supposedly having been released after filming of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” in the vicinity. This revived memories of her childhood and ultimately were the inspiration for the subsequent naming of her own winery after Edgar Allan Poe, the author of the famous and foreboding poem, “The Raven.”.

Despite working 18-hour days six days a week at Ferrington, she knew that she had found her calling. The internship experience, a few enology classes at the University of California, Davis, and learning from conversations with winemakers gave her the tools she needed to found POE Wines in 2009, the same year in which she formed Samantha Sheehan Imports. At POE, located in the Napa Valley, Samantha produces Champagne-method sparkling wine, Rosé, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, as well as a nouveauof Pinot Noir.

Samantha has founded two other brands, Ultraviolet Wines in 2010, where she specializes in crafting sparkling Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mommenpop in 2017, under which name she offers citrus-based apertifs; her apertifs were selected as one of the “Top New Spirits of 2017” by Wine & Spirits Magazine. In additional recognition of her talents as a winemaker, she was named as one of Wine Enthusiast’s “40 Under 40 Tastemakers” in 2021.

Samantha lives in Napa with her husband, Michael McDermott, a renowned label designer. They are the parents of two sons.