Theopolis Vineyards: California’s 18-Year-Old Black Woman-Owned Winery
Photo Credit: Theopolis Vineyards| Facebook

Photo Credit: Theopolis Vineyards| Facebook

Theopolis Vineyards: California’s 18-Year-Old Black Woman-Owned Winery

black-owned business , yorkville , united states , news
Malik Peay
Malik Peay Oct 12, 2021

Located in Yorkville, north of San Francisco, in the scenic rolling hills of vineyards and architectural beauty, there is a magnificent Black woman-owned winery. Theopolis Vineyards is an 18-year-old wine producer that was founded by Theodora R. Lee in 2003.

The Texas native turned San Francisco attorney had her first grape harvest to produce high-quality wines in 2006 and has been a notable Black vintner in California ever since.

Photo courtesy of Kym Ellis

Situated at 32674 Highway 128, Theopolis Vineyards spans 20 acres of land boasting different variations of grapes for Petite Sirah, Pinot Noire, and Rosé wines. Wine Enthusiast nominated the winery for a Wine Star Award, and today, Lee is looking to broaden the community of viticulture.

With an established fund, Lee set up at the University of California, she is using her platform to introduce more Black people to vineyard management. The Theopolis Vineyards Diversity Fund is expanding the narrative of Black vintners who operate wineries across the United States, creating more space for them to feel seen.

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Theodora R. Lee fell in love with wine during the 1980s and made it her goal to open up her own vineyard. While practicing law and working at a firm, Lee purchased land outside of Sonoma County to bring her wine dreams to life. She gravitated to the world of fine wine that already existed in California, and added her own spin with her premium wine selections.

Theopolis Vineyards hosts fun event programming for its membership holders. The exclusive Theopolis Vineyards Wine Club Virtual Tasting Kits have been in high demand. Wine bottles start at $36 for purchase while Lee’s more expensive wines are listed at $150.

On October 23, Lee will be teaming up with Jamaican chef Andre Fowles to create the ultimate charcuterie board experience. Lee will walk her guests through how Theopolis Vineyards came to be and will donate to the HBCU Gap Fund. Through pairing up with the Food Network’s ‘Chopped champion, Lee is sharing her Black expertise in the culinary and wine industry.

Despite being an award-winning vintner, Lee still runs into issues with placing her wines in local restaurants and storefronts. In an interview with Shoppe Black, Lee acknowledges the fact that the wine industry is a male-dominated community, and Lee is paving way for the future of Black women vintners. You can learn more about Theopolis Vineyards at www.theopolisvineyards.com.

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