On November 16, 2019, we received an e-mail with news that marks the end of an era at Siduri. Adam Lee is stepping down as winemaker. The 2019 vintage will be his last. I’ve included a pdf of the e-mail below.
The good news is that he’s found a replacement. Say hello to Matt Revelette who will take over winemaking duties starting in a few months. Matt worked with Adam on the 2019 vintage. The two traveled together visiting vineyards and generally having a good time. Adam conducted an extensive search and has found a good one. From the Wine Industry Advisor,
Revelette came to Siduri from Sojourn Cellars, where he spent three years managing all aspects of the winery, from grower relations to wine production. Prior to Sojourn, Revelette held winemaking roles with venerable Pinot Noir producers, such as Williams Selyem and Kosta Browne.
Adam and Dianna Lee produced their first vintage in 1994. They were pioneers in many ways. Siduri was one of the first warehouse wineries, owning no vineyards at all. Instead, the pair worked closely with selected vineyard owners to help achieve the grape quality Siduri wanted. They also were among the first to implement small-lot single-vineyard production. But after 25 years it was time to move on. Two kids from Texas did good. From the Siduri website:
Buoyed by that dream, Adam Lee and Dianna Novy left their native Texas and moved to the Sonoma County wine country. They spent years working at small, family-owned wineries and using any and all free time learning everything they could about growing grapes and making wine.
And it paid off—the first Siduri Wines release, in 1994, was met with great critical success. About that same time, perhaps not coincidentally, Adam and Dianna married.
Two Stories From History
One memory stands out. After the Tubbs Fire destroyed much of northeastern Santa Rosa in October, 2017, the winery was left without power. Adam didn’t even know if he still had a winery. He walked three miles to the location and was relieved to see that Siduri was still standing. He asked Ryan Zapaltas to join him at the winery because they had a big problem.
In October, the crush is over and fermentation is well underway. That process generates heat. The tanks have cooling jackets. But no power means no pumps which means no cooling. Adam and Ryan bought dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) and wrapped it around the tanks. The 2017 vintage was saved because the two were persistent and creative. Ryan took over winemaking duties at Copain. We hope he will bring his style to that winery, making Copain a destination winery for us.
Second was a special event. Adam was kind enough to invite us to a tasting of Virginia wines on June 23, 2014. That was our first exposure to that state’s winemaking. We were so impressed we started VirginiaWineFan.
Adam is not retiring to a life of leisure. He is still heavily involved with his baby, the Clarice Wine Company.
Adam will also serve as Pinot Noir Advocate for the Jackson Family Wine conglomerate. That company owns many excellent pinot noir producers including Maggy Hawk, Hartford, and (of course) Siduri.
Thanks to Adam for years and years of terrific wine. We wish him nothing but the best. And we’re looking forward to tasting Matt’s first vintage, 2020.
Adam closed his letter with this:
Making Siduri Pinot Noirs was great. Sharing them with you all was far better.
We are happy that we were able to share with Adam.