“My father taught me how to dedicate myself to hard work. If you want something, you must go after it and never give up. Nobody’s going to give it to you.”
Behind every wine there is a story. A narrative of people, place, hard work and determination.
As immigrants who moved to America decades ago, we understand the value of working hard, building relationships and relying on each other as family. There have been no silver spoons in our lives. But there has been plenty of joy: in the risks that have resulted in success, in the dreams that have been fulfilled. Creating our own portfolio of Napa Valley wines is another dream, one we pursue with the tenacity, humility and enthusiasm borne of our early experiences.
Our interest in wine dates to the 1980s, to a bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shared at a dinner with colleagues. That night we talked about business, but we also talked about people, about family, about friendship. The wine fueled a deep connection and turned a business occasion into an unforgettable moment, a colleague into a friend.
From then on, wine became a passion and a pursuit. We traveled to winegrowing destinations: Napa, Sonoma, France, Italy and Argentina. We toured chateaux, wineries and vineyards, drank wines considered the finest ever produced and met the families and winemakers behind them. And no matter where we went and what wines we enjoyed, the joy in it for us always came down to the people, to the stories behind the bottles, and to the relationships the wines fostered.
We’re veterans, but we’re just getting started.
Our own winegrowing journey began in 2003, the year we joined the Napa Valley Reserve and created our own Simon Family wines. For nearly two decades we gained the hands-on experience of tending vines, harvesting grapes, fermenting juice, sourcing oak, creating blends and bottling the finished wines. We met numerous Napa Valley winemakers and proprietors, soaking up everything we could about growing grapes and making wine. It was an education of a lifetime, and how our love affair with Napa Valley began. Sharing our small-lot wines with friends and family was the highlight; we only wished we had more to go around. Soon, the idea of creating exceptional wines for a wider audience began to take shape.
In Maayan, we found a kindred spirit.
As the idea of forming our own portfolio of wines began to crystallize, we were introduced to Maayan Koschitzky, the highly respected winemaker whose resume includes roles at the legendary Screaming Eagle as well as Atelier Melka, where as Director of Winemaking he works with Philippe Melka crafting some of the most sought-after wines in Napa Valley. Maayan’s background is impressive enough, but it was our mutual chemistry that propelled us to ask him to be our winemaker. As an immigrant himself, Maayan shares with us the experience of living in a country that demands much, but bestows much more. On the night we met, our conversation lasted into the wee hours as we shared histories and dreams. We pledged to work together and have been friends and colleagues ever since.