Sam Balakian, President and Winemaster, manages the winery operations with the assistance of his wife Valerie. Sam earned his B.S. in Enology from Fresno State in 1964, making him one of the first graduates of the then-new winemaking program at the college. Sam continued his education to earn an M.S. in Food Science from the University of California at Davis in 1966. Working with this wide variety of growing areas, vineyards, varieties, production levels and styles of winemaking for nearly forty years make Sam one of the most experienced winemakers in California.
Michael Gwin, National Director of Sales & Marketing, studied Agribusiness and Viticulture at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Michael's wine industry experience spans over a decade and includes vineyard management, food and beverage management, wine making and sales and brand development. Michael joined Tarrica Wine cellars for the release of its inaugural vintage in 2003 and is now supporting the successes of a national network of distributors. Established in 1999, the first grapes were crushed in 2000. Tarrica Wine Cellars and Olde Shandon Port Works are the labels of a family-owned winery located in the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area. The name "Tarrica" is a derivative of owners Sam and Valerie Balakian's daughters' first names: Taryn and Erica. Customer acceptance and awards won at wine competitions have encouraged our growth and expansion. We hope you enjoy our wines.
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