In 2002, after leaving Marks and Spencer, Sam established this leading Southern French biodynamic domaine with South African wine-maker Tom Lubbe.
After the initial purchase of the Clos Matassa vineyard, several other small parcels of very old hillside Carignan vines were saved from extinction. These vines are grouped around the remote village of Le Vivier, on granitic soils at altitudes from 500m to 600m above sea level. The wines are bottled as VDP des Côtes Catalanes.
Production increased after the 2003 vintage following acquisition of 29 more premium hillside vineyards. Ten of these vineyards are situated in the Coteaux des Fenouillèdes (neighbouring Clos Matassa) and the other parcels are grouped around the village of Calce, at 150 to 300m altitude. The vineyards are low yielding old vines and production is limited to between 10-18hl/ha. All 12 hectares of vineyard are farmed using biodynamic practices.
The wines of Domaine Matassa are nurtured through the winemaking process with little intervention before bottling. Other than a small amount of SO2 used after fermentation, the wines see no additives or processing aids. The wines go through primary and secondary fermentation spontaneously. Topping, racking and bottling is carried out in accordance with the biodynamic calendar to retain both flavour and texture in the wines.