Who makes Simi wine?

Answered by Jesse Garza

Simi is currently made by Icon Estates, which is a luxury wine subsidiary of Constellation Brands. However, the journey of Simi wine has seen it change hands over the years. Let's delve into the fascinating history of this renowned winery.

Simi Winery was founded in 1876 by two Italian brothers, Giuseppe and Pietro Simi. They established the winery in Sonoma County, California, with a vision to produce high-quality wines that showcased the region's potential. The Simi brothers were among the pioneers of winemaking in California and their legacy lives on today.

For over a century, Simi Winery remained in the hands of the Simi family. They built a reputation for crafting exceptional wines, particularly Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their commitment to quality and innovation earned them a loyal following and numerous accolades.

However, in 1970, the Simi family decided to sell the winery due to financial challenges. Robert and Zelma Mondavi, renowned figures in the wine industry, recognized the potential of Simi Winery and purchased it in partnership with a group of investors. Under their ownership, Simi Winery continued to thrive and uphold its reputation for producing outstanding wines.

In 1981, tragedy struck when Zelma Mondavi passed away, leaving Robert Mondavi as the sole owner of Simi Winery. He continued to steward the winery with passion and introduced sustainable farming practices, recognizing the importance of preserving the land for future generations.

Fast forward to 1999, and a significant change occurred when LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), a multinational luxury goods conglomerate, acquired Simi Winery. This marked the first time Simi Winery was no longer under family ownership. LVMH brought its expertise in luxury brands to the winery, further elevating its status.

However, LVMH's ownership of Simi Winery was relatively short-lived. In the same year, they sold the winery to Canandaigua Brands, a division of Constellation Brands, for approximately US$50 million. This marked another transition for Simi Winery, now becoming part of a larger wine corporation.

Currently, Simi Winery is owned and operated by Icon Estates, a luxury wine subsidiary of Constellation Brands. Icon Estates focuses on producing premium wines from some of California's most prestigious vineyards, and Simi Winery fits perfectly into their portfolio.

Throughout its history, Simi Winery has remained committed to crafting exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Sonoma County. Their range includes a diverse selection of varietals, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel.

As a sommelier and brewer, I have had the pleasure of experiencing Simi wines firsthand. Their Chardonnays, in particular, have always impressed me with their balance of fruit flavors, oak influence, and crisp acidity. The Cabernet Sauvignons exhibit depth and complexity, showcasing the best of Sonoma County's terroir.

Simi Winery is currently owned by Icon Estates, a luxury wine subsidiary of Constellation Brands. However, the winery has undergone several ownership changes throughout its history, starting from its founding by the Simi brothers in 1876. Despite these transitions, Simi Winery has maintained its commitment to producing exceptional wines that capture the essence of Sonoma County.