Partners: Redefining Bold in Napa | Wine Enthusiast
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Redefining Bold in Napa



Bold. Confident. Edgy. These are the words that come to mind when experiencing the Lions Head Collection of wines for the first time. Inspired by the winemakers’ craft, this collection is an expression of next generation wines. Tim and Sabrina Persson have created this collection to ignite conversation around the artistry of these wines, and the dynamic, captivating wine labels showcase the power behind them.

Tim & Sabrina Persson, proprietors and visionaries behind the Lions Head Collection. Photo by Dawn Heumann

Both Tim and Sabrina began their journey outside the US in Switzerland, London and Southern Africa. The name “Lions Head” comes from Lions Head mountain, a place in South Africa very close to Tim’s heart. However, their international journeys ultimately led them to the Napa Valley where they have found their true calling.

“We really wanted to draw on that journey,” says Tim Persson. “And to some degree, use an outsider’s perspective to make sure that we challenge norms and really push the needle with what we were doing here in Napa. To ultimately dare ourselves to make really kick-ass wine for the next generation.”

Their initial challenges may have been understated – with their first years truly tested by nature, as fires and mudslides threatened their winery, and an earthquake in 2014 that destroyed their cellar, crushing the tanks from the inside out. But these setbacks only fortified Tim and Sabrina’s desire to persevere. They rebuilt the cellar, investing in the most progressive winemaking technology available today and in first-class vineyard practices that now give life to this collection of brands.

A crushed tank in Lions Head Cellar preserved as an art piece and reminder of the difficult beginnings and inspiration for Lions Head Wines.  Photo by Dawn Heumann

“Whether it’s an optical sorter that allows us to really dial in and select only the best fruit from the vineyard or whether it’s our small lot fermentation tanks, which are double insulated and controlled by iPads and allow us to really control the temperature for fermentation in a way that previously wasn’t possible, or whether it’s the way in which we do sensory analysis in our labs, all of this has a place in great wine, and all of it allows us to push the boundaries that much more forward.” says Tim Persson.

Winemaker Stephanie Pope (center) tasting small lot tank samples with Tim & Sabrina. Photo by Dawn Heumann

Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blend are a new take on these classic Napa wines, incorporating high elevation Malbec to deliver a smooth and seamless wine. The name “Lion Tamer” has become the Lions Head Collection winemakers’ nickname for Malbec because it is used as a blending variety to tame the powerful tannins in mountain-grown fruit.

The Panthera brand showcases a different side of the Sonoma Coast and displays both a vibrant aspect of fruit and a confident oak profile. Panthera Pinot Noir and Panthera Chardonnay capture the winemakers’ adept control to release a boldness where you least expect it.

Photo by Dawn Heumann

While every vintage and harvest presents a unique set of challenges and obstacles, the Lions Head Collection is founded in resilience. “Each vintage is such an adventure,” says Sabrina Persson “and what I love is that at the end of the day, you have this amazing bottle of wine that is delicious and brings people together. What’s not to love?” To experience the bold flavors and artistry of these next generation wines, visit the to purchase and join the conversation around these wines.

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