Ertugrul “Art” Sevtap’s unique road to winemaking can be seen, felt, and tasted in every sip of his extraordinary wines. A Turkish native, Art immigrated to the U.S. in 1992 to attend school for deep sea diving in Irvine, but a series of unique opportunities and a love of the Mediterranean climate landed him in Santa Barbara. It’s here where the eclectic Sevtap story found its groove and Art became a one-man winemaking show, producing some of the most celebrated bottles in the County. In the early 90s, Art attended Santa Barbara City College to study Marine Technology, which eventually took him to New Orleans as an Underwater Construction Worker for the offshore oilrigs and pipelines. In his spare time, he began to watch Emeril Lagassi’s show on the Food Network, spawning a desire to become a chef, which he did—as a line cook in the famed Lagassi kitchen. While the world-famous flavors of Nola were enticing, Art missed the water and eventually returned to Santa Barbara where he worked for Pierre Lafond and drove for Jeep Tours through the renowned Santa Ynez wine country. He loved viticulture and would study the wine bible with the fervency of a devoted student before every tour. He began working at Kalyra winery and making his own wine on the side. Eventually, he secured a license, got a lease on a warehouse (where he also lived to save money), and began producing wine. What started as eight barrels five and a half years ago has grown to 2,500 cases a run. Art remains a one-man operation with a tasting room in Solvang, which is the only place you’ll find his wine! Just like Art isn’t your typical winemaker, Sevtap isn’t your typical tasting room. Known for customer service, the tasting room is open late five nights a week and features live music, movie nights, parties, and live art shows. Chalkboards adorn the walls, Nepalese prayer flags hang from the ceilings, and the barrels of grapes on the bar back beckon visitors to the wooden bar. Walk through the small green door in downtown Solvang and you’re guaranteed a tasting experience unlike any other. Art’s passion has produced some exceptional wines, but it has also resulted in a fun-loving, celebratory environment in which everyone from aficionados to newcomers can enjoy those wines. It’s this flavor for life that visitors will find in every bottle.