Ms. Theodora’s passion for wine began in 1987, when she moved from Texas to San Francisco to practice law. Many of her mentors owned vineyards, which led Theodora to take several viticulture classes at UC Davis. In 2001, she purchased sheep land in California’s Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley and began developing the now award-winning Theopolis Vineyards, a Greek name adopted from her days pledging Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
In the wine world, Ms. Lee is known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. Wine Critic Robert Parker bestowed a stellar rating of 94-96 points, a spectacular showing for the vintner's first harvest in 2006, and Theodora began bottling her own wines in 2014. Just six years later, in 2020, she was recognized as a 2020 Wine Industry Leader by Wine Business Monthly, and in 2021, was Wine Enthusiast’s 22nd Annual Wine Star Award Person of the Year Nominee. She recently established the Theopolis Vineyards Diversity Fund, which will provide one scholarship of up to $10,000 each year to students interested in viticulture and enology and related research or managing a vineyard, with a preference for students who are underrepresented or understand barriers to entering the industry. “It is important that young folks know that they too can pursue careers in viticulture, vineyard management and even own their own vineyard, and thrive in the wine industry,” she says. “As my father taught me, one must lift as one climbs so I hope this fund will help diversify the wine industry.”
In addition to her winery, Theodora is a San Francisco-based law firm senior partner and trial lawyer. She contributes to numerous employment law publications, regularly appears on TV and radio, and is the Board Chairperson of the Dallas Post Tribune Newspaper, one of the oldest Black newspapers in North Texas. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of San Francisco. Ms. Lee is a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Texas School of Law.Find her on Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn