The legacy of Terra Valentine’s wine program is a remarkable journey for not only the winery, but for the Baxter family as well. Phil Baxter graced these vineyards and put his fingerprint on the exquisite wines from the famed Spring Mountain AVA. In 2002 Sam Baxter took the helm from his father leading the fine wines of Terra Valentine to achieve a cult like status.
Sam Baxter was born and raised in St. Helena, California. Phil initiated Sam’s wine education early encouraging him to run in the vines and get his hands dirty during the crush. While Sam was still in high school he worked in the wine industry and blended his first wine during his senior year. He then went on to earn a degree in Fermentation Science from the University of California, Davis. To increase his knowledge and experience, Sam spent a vintage working in Australia before returning to Napa Valley. Sam says his philosophy on winemaking reflects Napa’s storied wines of the ‘70s and ‘80s which he grew up drinking. The understated elegance of those wines, along with their staying power was a profound influence.
The elegance and superior quality of Terra Valentine wines remains an institution. What has evolved however, is that Sam and Angela Baxter now own and operate the winery they love and are guiding it into the next phase of greatness.
“Though my style has a modern influence as well, I feel it is important for a wine to show a sense of place and for each component to balance out the other so that the experience is seamless.” ~Sam Baxter