His skill, experience, and quick wit continue to enhance the strength of the La Crema winemaking team.
Originally from New Zealand, Head Winemaker Craig McAllister now calls California home. He’s worked in New Zealand, Australia, Chile and Cyprus and has a deep passion for winemaking.
Craig first joined La Crema in 2007 as the harvest enologist, and returned again for the 2008 season. After gaining even more experience abroad, he joined the team full-time in 2009. Throughout his tenure he’s been a steward of La Crema’s Monterey program and worked extensively on Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. He was promoted to his current position in 2017.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology from Lincoln University in New Zealand. His skill, experience, and quick wit continue to enhance the strength of the La Crema winemaking team.
His role of enologist combines his passion for wine with his analytical aptitude and problem-solving abilities.
Greg Landin’s career has led him to explore some of the finest wine regions, from California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast to New Zealand and Western Australia. A graduate of the University of California at Davis’ Viticulture and Enology program, he has extensive experience in cellar and lab operations at artisan wineries.
A native of Alamo, California, Greg joined the La Crema team for the 2013 harvest, where his role of enologist combines his passion for wine with his analytical aptitude and problem-solving abilities. His favorite La Crema wine is the Shell Ridge Pinot Noir.
She believes that the mix of creativity and scientific knowledge required to be a winemaker make for the "perfect marriage for a science kid who always wanted to be an art kid, but wasn’t any good at art."
Samantha “Sam” Poehlman has always been fascinated by fermentation microbiology. Growing up in Wisconsin, she developed a passion for wine, beer, and cheese early on, which inspired her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in food science and microbiology from the University of Minnesota. She believes that the mix of creativity and scientific knowledge required to be a winemaker make for the “perfect marriage for a science kid who always wanted to be an art kid, but wasn’t any good at art.”
In 2005, Sam began working at Argyle Winery in Dundee, OR to complete her thesis for a graduation requirement. Since then, she has worked as Lab and Quality Control Manager at Domaine Serene, Associate Winemaker for Tony Rynders, and Assistant Winemaker for King Estate before joining the La Crema team. In her current role, she enjoys solving the challenges that each new vintage in Oregon brings. Growing season and harvesting conditions can vary drastically from year to year, keeping Sam on her toes as she works to ensure each vineyard produces the best possible wine.
When she isn’t working, Sam loves to travel. She has explored wine regions in Australia and New Zealand and hopes to continue to travel the world as she continues to expand her already vast wine knowledge.
He’s a civil engineer by training and worked with various construction and engineering firms, but his interest in wine never faded.
More than a decade ago, Sam found himself living in the heart of Sonoma Valley wine country after college and attending wine events in his spare time. Though his career first took a different path – he’s a civil engineer by training and worked with various construction and engineering firms – his interest in wine never faded. In 2005 he began studying through the WSET (Wine Spirits Education Trust), earning his Level 3 Advanced Certificate and cementing his passion for the grape.
An opportunity with the engineering department at Jackson Family Wines offered the chance to work directly in the wine industry. He was promoted to General Manager of the company’s Carneros Hills and Matanzas Creek wineries in 2015, and took the reins at La Crema later that fall.
Sam holds a degree in engineering from the University of California, Davis. When not at the winery, Sam’s time is filled with completely rebuilding his home in Sonoma, chasing his twins, and exploring the area’s fine dining and wine offerings with his wife.