the satori story

1993

tom buys the 20-acre prune (french plum) orchard at the corner of new avenue and buena vista avenue in gilroy.

1995

tom buys a cat d-4 tractor to rip out the plum orchard after the county informs him the trees are diseased.

1998

sandy sells her business in marin and jumps into the gilroy play, currently called moller family vineyards. (tom’s last name is moller.)

2000

tom and sandy plant the first 1,400 vines — cab, merlot, petite sirah, zinfandel — in what is now called the old vineyard.

2002

tom and sandy get married at the winery.

2003

son riley comes along, which is good because without him the name of the winery is SATO, which is nice, but doesn’t have quite the ring and resonance as SATORI.

2004

the next planting (3600 vines) adds syrah and cabernet franc to the mix. this section is called the quad vineyard after the quadrilateral trellis system that is used to train and support the vines.

2005

the current winery building goes up.

2005

tom plays the word generator game with the names SAndy, TOm and RIley, and comes up with “satori.” later that same day, he picks up a book called the power of now by eckhart tolle and reads the following: “zen masters use the word satori to describe a flash of insight, a moment of “no mind” and total presence. although satori is not a lasting transformation, be grateful when it comes, for it gives you a “taste of enlightenment.” we are grateful!

2006

bonded winery #15478. the harvests from now can be bottled, sold (and taxed!).

2006

tom leaves his full-time gig and he and sandy and 3-year-old riley take the plunge into the deep end of the fermentation bin.

2007

the upper vineyard is planted all in zinfandel. 4300 vines divided between 4 clones — deaver, foppiano, heritage, primitivo. satori now has 9300 vines planted on 15 acres.

2008

mark galarneau of galarneau & sinn designs our swirly company logo. when sandy asks why we can’t use all the logos that mark designed instead of just one, voila!, every varietal gets its own bright color and design. bright colors and freely “moving” circular swirls become the true satori trademarks, symbolizing freedom, fun, connection.

2008

satori sells its first bottle of 2006 vintage wine from its “wine tasting room” aka “roll up the winery garage door and lay out the bottles on a folding table. satori is open one weekend a month. steve wilson becomes our first tasting room manager.

2008

patrick meyer builds our “outdoor tasting cabana” and satori opens every weekend of the year.

2009

satori wins its first wine medals: gold medals for the 2007 joyous and 2007 petite sirah ha-ha, and double golds for the 2006 hallelujah cabernet sauvignon.

2013

howard farthing takes over for steve in the tasting room. he and marvel, the dog, have a special relationship. or do they just look like they’re both from the old country?

2017

to be continued. the journey forever unfolds.?