Theodora Lee

Theodora Lee

Theopolis Vineyards (Winemaker & Owner)

Theodora Lee, a partner and trial lawyer at Littler Mendelson P.C., is the founder and owner of Theopolis Vineyards. Her passion for wine began upon her arrival in San Francisco from Texas in 1987, primarily due to the influence of her law firm mentors, many of whom owned vineyards. This led Theodora to take several viticulture classes at the University of California, Davis, before deciding to develop her own vineyard. In 2001, she purchased sheep land in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley and began developing her vineyard. She planted it in 2003, formally establishing Theopolis Vineyards. The Greek name of the winery honors the name she was given upon pledging Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

In the wine world, Theodora is known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. Wine Critic Robert Parker bestowed a rating of 94–96 points upon wine made from grapes harvested from Theopolis Vineyards, a spectacular showing for the vintner's first harvest in 2006. Emboldened by the great fruit produced in her vineyard, Theodora, a bold and dynamic Texan, decided to bottle her own wines in 2014. In addition to producing a richly intense and flavorful Petite Sirah, she strikes a lighter note by bottling a Symphony, a white wine varietal that is a cross of Muscat and Grenache Gris. She also produces a Rosé of Petite Sirah and an Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.

Sunset Magazine’s International Wine Competition awarded a Gold Medal to the 2012 Estate-grown Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah. Wines from Theopolis, including the 2013 Symphony and the 2014 Rose of Petite Sirah, have won either silver and/or bronze medals at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Theodora was named to Wine Business Monthly's list of 2020 Wine Industry Leaders and in 2021 was nominated as “Person of the Year” in Wine Enthusiast’s 22nd Wine Star Awards competition.

In addition to practicing law and making wine, Theodora serves as Co-Chair of the Board Development Committee for the Board of Directors of the YMCA of San Francisco, and is a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Legal Aid and Vice President of the United Negro College Fund San Francisco Advisory Board. She is the Past President of the Bay Area Black United Fund and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. She is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Texas, Austin, School of Law. Prior to practicing law, she worked as a Senate intern in Washington, D.C., for Senator Sam Nunn.

Theodora’s wine philosophy is that “great wine starts in the vineyard.”