Known for Award Winning Wines
meet the winemaker
Dr. Grover C. Lee - Owner & Founder
Dr. Grover Lee grew up in the central valley of California with thousands of acres of grape vineyards surrounding his modest home. Throughout his high school years working in vineyards and testing labs he gained an appreciation of viticulture and enology.
At Cal Poly S.L.O., this interest in wine making expanded as he received a BS in Biological Science with minors in Chemistry and Biochemistry and one year in a Master’s program in Biochemistry.
On to the University of the Pacific where he entered as a PhD candidate in Biochemistry but decided to double major in the PhD Biochemistry and Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy programs. Dr. Lee completed all of his course work in Biochemistry but ended with a Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy. Dr. Lee continued his education with a Medical School Board Certification in Managed Care Medicine.
Dr. Lee started making his own wine in the early nineties at a local winery. He read many technical books. He also took extension courses from U.C. Davis in Viticulture & Enology. His quest to learn included reading most of the text books used in Viticulture & Enology Departments at U.C. Davis. With a base in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and much more, his technical knowledge of winemaking provided a solid foundation.
Traveling extensively throughout Europe and taking copious notes about winemaking techniques as he talked with winemakers was an epihpany of life and change how Dr. Lee looked at the art and science of winemaking. By applying a rigorous scientific approach to wine making, the best of classic wine making was utilized when it met the rigors of science. The appreciation of European wine making and the importance of food and wine has shaped his winemaking style to this day.
Steven Eriksen - Winemaker
Steven grew up in Southern Oregon where he formed a relationship with the outdoors and nature. He attended Oregon State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Biology while minoring in Chemistry and conducting genetic research on infectious bacteria as well as drug development. While pursuing post-Bachelor research, Steven was introduced to the wine industry by a friend and winemaker from Napa Valley. Being curious about wine production, Steven enrolled in classes where his enthusiasm for biology and science intermingled with the world of viticulture.
After finishing school, Steven began his career at Paoletti Winery in Napa before moving on to Sonoma where he worked at well-known wineries such as Pellegrini Wine Company, and Joseph Jewel, along with Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery. Steven was inevitably drawn to the beauty and rich wine culture of the Sierra Nevada Foothills, which eventually lead him to the burgeoning family-owned and operated Wise Villa Winery. Steven has been a member of the Wise Villa Winery team since 2014, working his way up from Cellar Master to Assistant Winemaker and finally Head Winemaker.
Steven thrives at Wise Villa Winery where his passion for winemaking is unmistakable and clearly demonstrated by the countless awards his wine has received. In 2019, while under Steven’s direction, Wise Villa Winery was the most awarded winery in North America for single-varietal wines as judged by the San Francisco Chronicle.
While winemaking is Steven’s primary passion, he shares it with his passion for nature. Steven loves to spend time outdoors hiking, biking, and skiing to name a few of his hobbies. His love of nature makes him feel at home in the rolling hill vineyards of Wise Villa and the beautiful view of the Sutter Buttes and Sacramento Valley below.