Uniting Wine and Coffee Culture
Picacho Coffee has the good fortune of working closely with sommelier Sam Hovland of Austin, Texas to develop a signature blend of specialty coffee, the 529 Plan. Picacho roastmaster, Chad Morris, provides Sam with sample roasts of our seasonal offerings, then Chad and Sam compare tasting notes on a regular basis. Our sommelier-crafted blends are the tangible result of this exciting collaboration between coffee and wine geeks.
An Austin resident since 1972, Sam Hovland has been involved the Austin food & wine industry for over twenty years as a kitchen manager, bartender, and captain, with forays into audio engineering after getting his BS in communications at UT, and an IS Directorship during the tech boom.
His first retail wine experience was with the Austin Wine Merchant in the late 90′s. His next wine-related position was with the Headliners Club, where he has been sommelier since 2000. Sam creates the Headliners wine list and works with about fifty local wine representatives and suppliers to maintain the club’s wine cellars. Over the past decades Sam has also worked at Sardine Rouge, Demi-Epicurious, The Lakeway Inn and Conference Resort, and Mars Restaurant and Bar. He has served as wine buyer for the Wild Wood Art Cafe and Gourmage of Texas in New Braunfels and has acted as a consultant or wine buyer for many other restaurants and retail shops, including a brief stint on the wine committee for Twin Liquors, and is currently the wine buyer at East End Wines in Austin Texas. Sam also acts as the wine buyer for Swift’s Attic in downtown Austin and will create the wine list for the new restaurant from that group, Wu Chow, opening in the winter of 2014. Sam continues to consult and regularly operates special private events, classes, and private staff trainings.
Sam passed the first two stages of the International Sommelier Guild’s degree in 2002, and got his Sommelier degree in 2005.
Sam’s boyhood love of food and coffee propelled him into a wine career, and his coffee adventures with Picacho are a natural extension of his interest in food and pairing food with artfully crafted beverages. Like wine, coffee is a beverage with its own storied history. Sam shares Picacho’s obsession with creating carefully crafted coffees that capture the aromas and flavors of microclimate and terroir.