PROFILE 004: Samantha Sheehan - POE & ULTRAVIOLET Wines

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The business success story inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.

• How did you land on the name?

I grew up in Toluca Lake, in Los Angeles, right across from Universal Studios. In the 70's they filmed a portion of the movie The Birds on the lot, and released the ravens after the filming. The ravens ended up making our neighborhood their home, and by the time my parents bought the house in '89, there were hundreds of black ravens in our backyard. When I moved up to Napa to start making wine in Anderson Valley, I saw dozens of ravens which had been released from the set of The Birds filmed in Bodega Bay. I felt that they must be my spirit animal. I have also always loved Edgar Allan Poe as a writer.

• Best advice you’ve received as a business owner?

This seems like the most basic advice - but my father told me not to ever burn bridges. Someone you previously had issue with may someday be in a position of power. It's purely ego to continue a grudge, it's much better in the long run to solve the problem or let it go.

• Who are your mentors?

Cathy Corison, Annie Favia, Helen Keplinger...

• What food or beverage are you enjoying most right now?

We just bottled our new vintage of vermouths, so I am really enjoying our d'Orange Vermouth with tonic water. It is a white wine base, fortified with brandy, which we've distilled from wine. We then extract 4,500 pounds of organic orange peels and whole spice into the fortified wine. Its perfectly natural, refreshing, and has the most delicious summer flavors.

maggie spicer