Chief Winemaker / Winery Manager - Cimicky Estate
Proprietor / Winemaker - Rojomoma Red Art
Sam Kurtz was born and raised in the Barossa Valley the 6th generation of his family to settle in the region. His ancestors from the Koch and Gramp families planted some of the first vines in Barossa and every generation since have worked as either grape-growers, winemakers or in a winery. Breaking briefly with tradition Sam began studying Civil Engineering before leaving and getting a cellar job in a local winery. It was whilst working there he became fascinated by the complex blend of art and science that is grape-growing and winemaking. Following graduating winemaking at Roseworthy College Sam worked for Pernod Ricard Winemakers for 23 vintages in a variety of roles which included Group Red and Fortified Winemaker, in charge of all the red and fortified wines nationally including Jacobs Creek, as well as being Chief Winemaker for Saint Hugo and Wyndham Estate. Overseas vintages in the US, Spain and Hungary as well as consulting on winemaking projects in Argentina, China, India and Georgia further diversified his winemaking experience. Since 2018 Sam has worked for Cimicky Estate as their Chief Winemaker.
In 1996 Sam purchased a small 5.4 hectare vineyard in the Ebenezer sub region of the Barossa and together with his partner Bernadette they established the Rojomoma Red Art winery and wines in 2004. Success followed with the winery receiving many awards including the Best Small Producer Trophy at the 2017 Barossa Wine Show and their Shiraz being awarded the Red Wine of Provenance Trophy at the 2017 National Wine Show of Australia.
Sam has previously judged at the Hong Kong International Wine Show, the Japan Wine Challenge, the Royal Adelaide Wine Show, the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, the National Wine Show of Australia, Rutherglen Wine Show and the Riverina Wine Show.