Spottswoode Estate was founded in 1882 by George Schonewald and named after a Mrs. Albert Spotts after she purchased the estate in 1910. In 1972, the estate was purchased by Mary and Jack Novak and, exactly 100 years after the founding of the estate, Mary Novak released the first vintage in 1982.
The Novaks eventually passed their estate onto their daughters, Beth Novak Milliken and Lindy Novak. Beth manages the winery and Lindy manages the vineyard’s marketing. Beth, who studied economics at UCLA, developed her interest in wine by working alongside her mother at Spottswoode. Along with helping her mother, she became president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, and participates in many philanthropic events to this day.
In 1992, Spottswoode received their organic certification form the California Certified Organic Farmers and also moved the winery’s offices to a newly refurbished Victorian farmhouse.
2017 was a difficult year for the daughters. Heavy rains and forest fires had an impact on some of their grapes. Despite such an extreme and changeable year, the Novaks moved past all of it and pulled through. One thing is for sure, though, a single tough year is not going to prevent them from continuing to expand and make some of the best Californian, not to mention American, wines available today.
Beth and Mary Novak’s determination and grit is visible in the way they run their vineyard. Throughout the years, the Novaks have acquired new land, adjacent farms, and new buildings into which they can expand their ever-growing business. They not only produce wine, but olive oil as well, and it seems as though their winery will continue to expand and improve in the years to come.