With Dianna working in the Epicure Department and Adam working in the Wine Department at Neiman Marcus it was inevitable that they would meet. As fate would have it, they started dating and eventually fell in love. They also drank a lot of great wine together in the meantime as Neiman Marcus held tastings with wine luminaries such as Michel Chapoutier and Claude Taittinger. After visiting the California wine country together they fell in love with the area and, eventually, they decided to move to California to truly immerse themselves in the wine business. They ended up working together at a small winery in the Dry Creek Valley.
Along the way, Dianna and Adam decided that they would like to try producing a small amount of wine. They had $24,000 between the two of them to invest in the project (actually Dianna had $21,000 and Adam had $3,000). Pinot Noir was their favorite wine so they figured that’s what they should make (they were particularly fond of the wines being produced by Tom Rochioli and by Williams Selyem winery). Thus they started on a search for grapes. An advertisement in a trade publication led them to a vineyard in Anderson Valley. There they agreed to purchase one acre’s worth of grapes. They chose to purchase the grapes by the acre rather than by the ton and work the vineyard themselves as they had come to believe that the world’s greatest wines were produced from low yielding vines. They dramatically reduced the crop load on their one-acre and made the wine as naturally as possible, using indigenous yeasts and indigenous malolactic fermentation. They purchased the finest French oak barrels and hoped for the best. Less than a month before harvest they became engaged and in early October they made their first wine – a grand total of 107 cases.
One evening, after a few glasses of wine, they heard that famed wine writer Robert Parker was staying at the Meadowood Resort in the Napa Valley. Emboldened by the wine they pulled a sample of their first wine and left it with the concierge for Mr. Parker. This wine ultimately received a 90-point rating in the Wine Advocate. Their winery, Siduri Wines, took off from there.
Dianna and Adam married on March 25, 1995. They have three children, Christian, Amber and Truett.
They continue to make every wine together.
Adam Lee was born on September 12, 1964 in Austin, Texas. His parents are Howard and Vera Lee. Adam was raised as a Southern Baptist and thus never drank alcohol growing up – a somewhat unusual background for someone in the wine business. He attended Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas (where he started drinking – although wine was not usually the drink of choice) and graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in History – specializing in the comparative history of the French and American Prison Systems. Somehow, this didn’t lead to an immediate job and thus he found gainful employment at one of the only places that would hire him – a wine store called Austin Wine & Spirits. His only real qualifications for the job were that he would show up on time, could do some basic bookkeeping, and wouldn’t steal from the company.
Fortunately, Austin Wine & Spirits was a hotbed of wine sales as well as the sponsor of the local Les Amis du Vin chapter. There Adam was able to taste some of the great wines of the world (the Burgundies of Bobbie Katcher, the Italian wines of Marco de Grazia, and German wines of Terry Thiese as well as the great 1985 and 1986 Bordeaux vintages and the 1984-1987 California vintages). Amazingly, Adam showed a great affinity for fine wine and a knack for selling fine wine. He moved from salesperson to Assistant Manager to Manager and finally to President of Austin Wine & Spirits. Eventually, Adam left Austin Wine & Spirits and, after a brief stint in wine wholesale, he became wine buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas.
Dianna Novy was born on August 26, 1970 in Ennis, Texas – a small town about 45 minutes southeast of Dallas. Ennis has a strong Czechoslovakian heritage, as approximately 66% of its residents are Czech. Dianna’ family came to the United States from Czechoslovakia several generations prior to her birth – but Dianna’s great-grandmother only spoke Czech, her grandmother is fluent in Czech, her parents know a good bit of Czech, and Dianna knows a few Czech words. Dianna grew up on a farm and this farming background would later come in handy in her career in the wine business. Her parents also own their own business and this entrepreneurial spirit would also prove to be of a great benefit. Dianna’s parents are Adolph and Rose Marie Novy and she has three older brothers, David, Bryan, and Steven.
Dianna graduated Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1992. She also discovered that her degree didn’t lead to an immediate job opportunity and thus, after much searching, acquired a job in the epicurean department at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas.