Marilyn “Sarah” Otteman purchased 10 acres in south Santa Clara County's Hecker Pass area in 1977. She began the vineyard with an initial planting of seven acres of Chardonnay. The winery itself was founded 1978.
Marilyn was a creative, free spirit, with a love for the land (she had an actual teepee on the property) and an innate sense of style. Both her and the early wines’ character caught the public and media’s fancy – the ornate Sarah’s Vineyard label quickly developed a loyal following and a reputation for top-flight Chardonnays.
The small, rustic tasting room soon became a “must stop” for early Central Coast wine excursions. Today, Sarah’s legacy can still be seen in the attention to detail and warm hospitality on display daily around the winery.
Tim Slater took the helm at Sarah’s Vineyard when he purchased the vineyards and winery in 2001. Tim in his former life has been a DJ, a musician, and a successful “micro-machining” engineer with many patents to his name. He brought a scientific approach to replanting and modernizing S.V., finely balanced by an artist’s sensibility and a traditionalist’s love of the land.
Tim is a very hands-on proprietor. He is both grower and winemaker, constantly experimenting in the vineyard and in the cellar. Tim is often to be found in the tasting room, sharing his latest discoveries with guests.
By channeling both his inner “mad scientist” and his artistic side, the S.V. estate and wines have flourished. Tim’s philosophy is a fairly simple one: bottle by bottle, vintage by vintage, to capture the “music of the vineyard” – to grow and produce some of California’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.