A casual conversation with a friend and business colleague. Notes taken on napkins at the kitchen table. A challenge to be accepted, a dream fulfilled. In this time-honored American story, Ted Simpkins took the advice of legendary vintner Jess Jackson and purchased Maacama Creek Winery, looking past its modest achievements to realize what might be accomplished in a region not yet known as it is today as one of the preeminent locations for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Founder Simpkins had the restless spirit not unknown to those in military families, and he marveled at the mix of business and true pleasure that evolved at Dan’s Bar, a modest establishment in San Miguel where his father offered friendship, a willing ear and a welcomed beverage for a neighborhood of regulars. The sense of community struck home. After his own military service, he brought his own compelling personality to the world of wine & spirits, and over three decades became one of the industry’s top executives.
Jess was proud of his friend’s accomplishments, and shared sense of family. That family honor can be seen in the estate’s outstanding proprietary wines named after wife Nicole and daughters Samantha and Sophia.
Today, this sense of community continues the vision and dream captured long ago, in the wines and experiences for guests and patrons of Lancaster Estate.
Nicole is no stranger to passionate pursuits. Early on, while working in retail during her college years, she became interested in fine wine, and its handcrafted, artisan nature. After college, with business degrees in hand, she began representing legendary wineries, delving far beyond the obvious to dig deeply into the passionate story of each wine’s creation. Along the way she met Ted Simpkins, and joined him both as life partner and proprietor of Lancaster Estate.
Viewing wine as but one aspect of the fully realized life, Nicole has expanded the Lancaster experience to include a variety of natural products that help harmonize the physical, mental and emotional well being of family, friends and Lancaster patrons.
Using locally grown plants for their essential oils, she developed a signature Lancaster Estate scent and an estate line of Lancaster Body Care botanical based products to enhance, rejuvenate and restore spirit, body and soul.
The perfect pairing with Lancaster Estate wines.
Sophia and Samantha Simpkins
From the moment Proprietor Ted Simpkins envisioned Lancaster Estate, he knew a lasting legacy was possible, a dream to be shared, a journey continued over generations.
In 2004, with the birth of twin daughters Samantha and Sophia, the potential for realizing this family legacy emerged.
Ted and Nicole moved naturally to introduce Sophia and Samantha to the joys of a passionate blending of life, love and business. From their home overlooking the vineyards and winery, the family lived in harmony with the land as the estate vineyards were developed over time. At harvest, the girls work on the sorting table, carefully selecting only the finest fruit for bottlings which bear their names. On a Saturday, you might be greeted in the Tasting Room by family members who have fully embraced the Lancaster ideal. That happens when your name is on the bottle.
Sharing their passion from an early age, Ted and Nicole allow that a driving force is the simple desire for their children to be as passionately proud of Lancaster Estate as they are, carrying forward the vision and the legacy that began simply at a kitchen table, born of friendship and the sense that family can find its way in shared experiences and common dreams.
The wonder of wine is in the sharing.