Dear Berserkers:

My name is Theodora Lee aka Theo-patra, the Queen of the Vineyards, and am the Owner of Theopolis Vineyards. I am so happy to become a part of the Wine Berserker Community and excited to participate in my first BerserkerDay.

Here is a picture of me working the Vineyard:
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Theopolis Vineyards is a small lot vineyard and hand-crafted winery located in California’s prestigious Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley. Situated along Highway 128 in southeastern Mendocino County near the border of Sonoma County, the AVA is a highly elevated, rugged interior wine-growing area. Established in 2003, Wine Critic Robert Parker bestowed upon wine made from grapes harvested from Theopolis Vineyards a stellar rating of 94-96 points, a spectacular showing for the vintner’s first harvest in 2006. Indeed, our first grape buyer was Mike Officer of Carlisle Winery & Vineyards. We also sell our grapes to Paul Gordon of Halcon Vineyards and Philip Cuadra of Highlawn, who also make award winning wines from our fruit.
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Emboldened by the great fruit produced by the land, I began bottling my own wines in 2014. Theopolis Vineyards is best known for its Best in Class, Double Gold, 95 Points 2013 Estate Grown Petite Sirah and its Double Gold 2014 Estate Grown Rosé of Petite Sirah. In addition to bottling the richly intense and flavorful Petite Sirah and Rosé of Petite Sirah, Theopolis Vineyards strikes a lighter note by bottling a Symphony, a white wine, which is a crossing of Muscat and Grenache Gris. Theopolis Vineyards also bottles an Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and a Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir.
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We are pleased to say that our wines have been well received in the wine community. Here is a description of the wines along with a few of the awards that the wines have garnered:

2013 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petite Sirah
Tasting Note: This Estate Grown Petite Sirah has a bouquet of delicious and ripe dark red fruit with hints of chocolate, balanced by suggestions of black cherries, anise, and ripe plums. The wine is rich and flavorful on the palate, lingering to a pure and long finish. This vintage will stand up now and age beautifully.
Awards: Best in Class, Double Gold and 95 Points, 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition
Gold, 2016 Sunset International Wine Competition
93 Points/Cellar Selection, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, March 2017

2014 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Rosé of Petite Sirah
Tasting Note: A refreshingly brilliant dry Rosé of Petite Sirah, with floral aromas of rose petals and flavors of fresh cherries and cranberries. The palate is clean and bright, with hints of green apple balanced by nice acidity.
Awards: Double Gold at 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
88 Points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, March 2017

2014 Yorkville Highlands Symphony
Varietal: The Symphony grape is a California crossing of Muscat of Alexandria and Grenache Gris developed in 1948 (but not commercially released until 1982) by the late Harold Olmo, professor of viticulture at the University of California, Davis. As its pedigree suggests, it is a seductively aromatic wine with delightfully captivating aromas that are markedly floral with slightly spicy flavors.
Awards: Bronze at 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
90 Points/Editors’ Choice, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, March 2017

2014 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Tasting Note: An expression of Anderson Valley terroir, this exquisite Pinot Noir has aromas of lightly toasted oak and delicate rose petals, with flavors of cherry and raspberry highlighted with subtle undertones of forest floor to round out the bouquet. This Pinot Noir is savory which adds length to a memorable finish.
Awards: Bronze, Sunset International Wine Competition
92 Points, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, March 2017

2015 Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir
Tasting Note: This Pinot Noir is a wine of beauty and elegance, with aromas of black cherries, delicate rose petals, and cranberries. It is highlighted by subtle undertones of forest floor with flavors of dark red and black fruits to round out the bouquet. On the palate, this Pinot Noir is savory with bright acidity adding length to the clean finish.
Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein described this Yorkville Highlands Pinot as likeable, with rich fruit, good astringency, medium body and a lingering dry finish.
2015 Yorkville Highlands Symphony
Tasting Note: Tropical floral nose, with flavors of peaches and mango, which harmonize to create a refreshing and delicious wine, with a crisp and clean finish. Indeed, it strikes the right note!

Here are some links that you might find interesting to learn more about us:

Here is a link to Somm Journal where our 2013 Petite Sirah was featured as Best in Class in the World:

You can learn more about Theopolis Vineyards at our website
including more information on our history, tasting notes, accolades and some pictures of our various events. Also, be sure to check out our Facebook page Redirecting... our Instagram feed Login • Instagram Twitter feed
and watch us on YouTube

We hope you will give our wines a try, and have a wine-der-ful day!

Theodora Lee aka Theo-patra, the Queen of the Vineyards
Theopolis Vineyards
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It’s great to have you join the Beserker fun Theodora … sure looks like a good time at your vineyard!

The Rose is intriguing … I’m drinking more of it these days and that would be a new variety for me.

I will be looking forward to YOUR offering!

Hi Theopatra,

Have to ask what drew you to the biz and also the Egyptian theme? (I have Ramses II in papyrus hanging on the wall in my den…)

And to add to Mr. Hunter’s questions, why PS and PN – two varieties that couldn’t be more polemic in style?

Nefertiti and Ramses?

I’d say expression, rather than style. I’ve had Halcon and Highlawn Theopolis Vyd. PS. (Disclamer: friend of Paul, Jackie, Scott and Philip.) They both show great depth from cool climate and moderate ripeness. I do know a (non-commercial) vineyard that does well with both PN and PS and doubt there is much difference in ripening requirements between PS and Syrah. There are plenty of examples of PN and Syrah excelling in the same vineyard. It’s certainly an interesting contrast.

The Symphony choice is certainly brave. It’s an intriguing grape that does well at inferior sites and shows, more or less, like a blend of its parents. Something I’d like to play with, but probably harder to sell than a California Chenin.

Hey, guys.

She’s not blowing you off, she’s traveling and will be here soon.

Indeed, the Rose is quite unique. It drinks like a red wine and is perfect for a hot day.

I hope you will give us a try as we think our offer will be quite enticing.

Well, I pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in college and my Greek line name was Theopolis. So, when I planted the vineyard, I could not call it by my last name, Lee as there was another Lee Family Vineyard across the street so I needed to identify a name that was unique to me so decided to call it Theopolis Vineyards. Then, some creative folks saw me on the tractor and started calling me Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. As you know, Cleopatra was Greek and went into Egypt and became its leader. So, as a black women coming into the wine business, one can make a similar comparison.

As to what drew me to the biz, I started in this wine business to simply grow grapes as I am a country girl from Texas who learned to drive on a Tractor, and was looking to do farming as a distraction to the law. I was fortunate enough to sale the grapes from my first harvest to Mike Officer at Carlisle who bottled the petite that got the 96 fro Parker so I was well on my way. Then, fast forward to 2012 and I had another buyer who wanted the brix level at a high level and I had to pick in the rain, and that buyer, not Mike, rejected the grapes and so I had 8 tons on my hand so I had to become a wine maker and that 2012 Petite won Gold at Sunset Magazine and sold out so I decided to continute bottling wines and selling the grapes too and now sale to Paul Gordon at Halcon. So, now I am a farmer and wine maker.

Well, I grow Petite Sirah as it is big and bold like my personality. In all seriousness, the choice of PS was due to the growing conditions on my property. I worked with Rich Thomas of Santa Rosa Junior College in developing the vineyard, and my property is surrounded by fur and redwood trees so I lose sun about 5.30 pm and thus we needed to pick a varietal that loved hot weather but did not need all day sun. Based on advice from Mr. Thomas PS was that grape varietal.

Then after the success of the PS, I got a deal on the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and had lots of friends who loved Pinot as it is one of the lighter red wines, so I decided to bottle PN. Also, we do a lot of wine makers dinners and needed to have at least 4 varieties to pair with all courses so I added Pinot Noir as my fourth varietal.

A great comparison. I learned a lot about Ramesses the Great last January during my trip to Egypt, and of course, I knew about Nefertiti from College studies. Polar opposites.

Glad to know that you are friends with Paul, Jackie, Scott and Philip, and hope you enjoy their wines. We have a similar expression of our PS, but there are subtle differences. The PS is estate grown, and as Paul would say, the vineyard is on the edge of ripening as we are surrounded by large trees so the grapes have to work hard to get nutrition which is one reason we think the fruit is great. I source the PN, from both Anderson Valley and Yorkville Highlands, and are both are much bigger than many other PNs.

Yes. The Symphony choice is brave, but I wanted to bottle a unique white wine. The ladies who lunch(those who married rich and do not have to work) love the wine as it tastes like champagne without the bubbles, and they can drink it all day without getting a headache. My Symphony is also unique as most folks bottle it off dry and we bottle ours BONE DRY.

Thanks Brig for clarifying my absence since last Thursday. Brig is correct that I have been traveling on legal business since last Thursday as I work full time as a lawyer and have been on the road doing the legal stuff, with a brief stop over in Dallas this past weekend to care for my 90 year old mother with Alzheimer’s so I have been slow in responding. As of now, I believe I have responded to each and every one’s comments. I promise to check in each night before going to bed to make sure I answer any questions that you may have. Thanks so much for asking.

Full time lawyer, grape grower, and winemaker?? Are you sure you’re not actually 2 or 3 people? Bravo!

I found this interesting on your website.

Theopolis Vineyards has provided petite sirah grapes to Carlisle Winery & Vineyards, maker of award winning wines.

I recently tried Theo’s Anderson Valley pinot and it was terrific! Full bodied and meaty, especially for a pinot. Cherry/cranberry, toasted-oak and tea-spice. Excellent depth and an exotic finish. Definitely a newbie to check out on BD! [cheers.gif]