A romance blossomed in the old epicurean department of Neiman Marcus Northpark over Grand Cru and Camembert between Ennis raised Dianna Novy and Austinite Adam Lee. A mutual love of wine and food led to a dream of making the best wine in the best place, for them that meant California. Their dream came true 21 years ago with the founding of Siduri Winery, and shortly thereafter with Novy Family Wines with Dianna’s parents.
Since moving to Sonoma with a mere $24,000 and zero experience making wine, but a whole lot of passion, the duo has successfully produced high quality wines from some of the finest growers throughout California and Oregon, earning great respect and impressive ratings.
News was announced last Thursday that the couple has come to an agreement to sell the winery to Jackson Family Wines with Adam staying on as head winemaker, and that Jackson Family Wines will welcome all the employees that have worked on both brands into their family.
I have heard mixed feelings about the sale, some noting the size of Jackson Family and the worry that the work that the couple has done over the years will be diluted by Jackson and taken down a different path than what they had dreamed for their brands. I don’t think this will be the case. When Jess Jackson founded Jackson Family Farms in the 1980’s he wanted to show the quality of wines that could be produced, originally in Sonoma, then headed over to showcase the mountain vineyards of Napa Valley.
I recently spent time in Napa and Sonoma, visiting several of the Jackson’s mountain vineyard properties in Napa and tasting through Jackson Family’s Spire Collection, including the wines of Cardinale, Lokoya, Vérité and Cyneth. These are beautiful wines produced from meticulously managed vineyards each made with a focus on respecting the fruit and representing the land.
Of course there are other brands in the very large portfolio that are made in a larger production style. But it sounds like Barbara Banke, Chairman of Jackson Family wines and wife of the late Jess Jackson, has a focused desire to produce high quality, single vineyard wines, a specialty embraced by Adam and Dianna. I hope that Siduri and Novy will find their home with the quality collections, like Lokoya and Vérité, of Jackson Family Wines. With Adam remaining winemaker, I know this will be so.
Over the years I have loved the wines the Lees have produced, becoming friends with Adam and Dianna through our mutual appreciation of a great glass. I have done Dallas Uncorked events with them, I have written about their wines, and poured their wines proudly when hosting charity dinners and entertaining in my home. I am a fan, and couldn’t be happier for them both and their family. By being able to utilize the marketing, sales, and back office resources of Jackson Family, Adam and Dianna will be able to focus solely on fulfilling their original goal when they left Dallas to move to California.
To simply make that one perfect wine from that one perfect place. Cheers to you both.