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  • Monday, June 24, 2024
   
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Superstar Vineyard Owner, Attorney Gains National Recognition

 

They call her "Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards."

Ms. Theodora Lee, founder, owner and vintner of Theopolis Vineyards in Mendocino County, California, was announced as a finalist for Wine Enthusiast’s Annual Wine Star Awards, one of the nation's top awards in honoring the individuals and companies that make outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage world. The winners of the Wine Star Awards will be announced in February 2022.

Lee has earned an outstanding double-reputation in Northern California, both as one of the few Black women owners of wine vineyards and a high-impact and widely respected attorney for one of San Francisco's most prestigious law firms.

When Lee moved from Texas to San Francisco in 1987 to work in law, she noticed that several of her partners owned wine vineyards. That led to her own love and passion for winemaking. Lee took several viticulture classes at University of California-Davis. In 2001, she purchased 20 acres of sheep land in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley and started developing her vineyard. She took the full plunge in 2003 and entered the wine market.

The Texas native continues work as a senior partner and trial lawyer for Littler Mendelson in San Francisco. But when she's not winning important litigation as a fervent warrior in cases against unfair labor practice proceedings, grievance arbitrations; race, sex, religious and age harassment and discrimination, she feels even more fulfilled driving a tractor and developing her vineyard.

Two of Lee's wine products -- the Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir and the Rose of Petite Sirah, has received critical acclaim in the wine industry. Her Petite Sirah wines earned a score of 96 from highly regarded Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Lee holds on to some of her Texas roots as the Co-Board Chairperson of the Dallas Post Tribune Newspaper, one of the oldest Black newspapers in North Texas, a Black publication founded by her late father, Theodore Lee.

Not resting on her laurels, Lee, a graduate of Spelman College and the University Of Texas School Of Law, serves on the boards of several community organizations. She further uses her strong notoriety to advocate for more Blacks and women to succeed in the wine industry. The winery has also established the Theopolis Vineyards Diversity Fund at University of California, for Davis to help create more diversity in viticulture.

 
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