Later that year, Sarah began an internship, which later became a full time position, at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa Valley. In 1997, while working at Phelps, Sarah married vintner and entrepreneur Joel Gott, who had launched Joel Gott Wines in 1996 with Sarah as an informal winemaking consultant. Sarah remained at Phelps until 2002, eventually becoming winemaker with day-to-day responsibility for all production activities.
At her next position as winemaker at Quintessa—a Napa Valley winery producing a single, Bordeaux-style red—Sarah was allowed greater involvement in the rapidly growing Joel Gott Wines. In the harvest of 2003, Joel and Sarah had their first daughter, Lucy, and the following year Sarah left Quintessa to focus on their growing family. Sarah and Joel now have three children, including twins, Lael and James, and make a great team, drawing on her winemaking skills and his creative vision for the company.