Napa Valley’s Simon Family Estate crafts sophisticated wines that bring people together, the result of the Simon family’s decades-long interest in winegrowing
Wine has the power to connect people and forge deeper understanding. Sam Simon learned the importance of this togetherness at an early age, having arrived in the US with nothing but a strong work ethic and a sense that doing things as a family is crucial. Now a successful businessman, his passion is building Simon Family Estate – a winery that has a steadfast focus on producing deeply expressive wines of place with the power to bring people together.
“My father always said that giving is more important than getting,” says Sam. “That’s very important to us because I love seeing the joy on people’s faces when they are enjoying our wine. Our wines can be cellared for decades, but are also approachable in their youth. They are balanced and elegant, yet have verve and power. I want people to be able to drink them at any time. The quality of our vineyard sourcing is exceptional, especially for our 2019 Simon Family Estate Reserve.”
Sam and his wife, Nada, created their own label after developing a wine passion, verging on obsession over several decades, during which time they visited the world’s great vineyards to learn more about the art of wine, collecting for their own cellar along the way. As members of the exclusive wine club The Napa Valley Reserve, the Simons began to explore their own taste for winemaking. This ultimately evolved into the Simon Family Estate. Working with renowned chief winemaker Maayan Koschitzky and sourcing fruit from a number of premier Napa Valley vineyards, the estate has established a powerful portfolio of wines, encompassing four Cabernet Sauvignons, a barrel-fermented and aged Sauvignon Blanc, and an old-vine Grenache Rosé.
“The objective is to make great wine,” says Maayan, who has worked for some of Napa’s leading wineries such as Screaming Eagle and Dalle Valle, and developed relationships with the most pedigreed vineyards in the valley. “When you dive into the valley there’s so much variation and that’s even more pronounced with climate change. I want to make the best wine in the world, and I want people to enjoy it. That means the wine must be able to age in the bottle, but it’s also about getting a balance and delivering a real sense of place, so you can taste where the wine was made. It all starts in the vineyard.”
For Sam, his business is a long-term commitment, a principle that extends to the vineyards, many of which have been in the same hands for decades – an approach to farming and vine cultivation that rewards long-term thinking – and are part of the wider estate. And, as continuity and community are at the heart of this project, it is appropriate that, among its offerings, the winery has created wines for the Simons’ twin sons, Michael and Peter, whose differing personalities are reflected in Double Blessings. These dissimilar Cabernet Sauvignons demonstrate the skill of the winemaker and the versatility within the terroir.
Simon Family Estate wine is currently available in very select high-end restaurants but is primarily offered to collectors via an allocation list. “My vision is to create beautiful, terroir-driven wines from Napa Valley that rival the world’s best bottlings,” says Sam. “We pay attention to every detail because each decision we make is about longevity, not compromising or cutting corners. We want to share our wines with others who are as passionate about fine wine as we are, and the feedback is already outstanding. We’re making decisions for two hundred years from now.”