Partners: Connectors and Creators: The Women Behind Lions Head Wines | Wine Enthusiast
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Connectors and Creators: The Women Behind Lions Head Wines

Inspire connection. Push the boundaries. These words define the vision behind the Lions Head Collection – a portfolio of new luxury wines created by second-generation vintners Tim and Sabrina Persson. The Lions Head Collection was created to excite and inspire the next generation – a passion that Tim and Sabrina have embodied since taking over the family’s wine business in 2012. Together with winemaker Stephanie Pope, the duo aims to ignite conversation, and in the process, bring people together through the dynamic artistry of winemaking. 

Second-generation vintners Sabrina and Tim Persson (right and middle) with Lions Head Collection winemaker Stephanie Pope (left).

For Sabrina, the Lions Head Collection is an intersection of her two passions – wine and personal connection. As a licensed psychotherapist of close to 20 years, working in private practice, it’s no coincidence she felt compelled to combine the two. “I’m really interested in the unvarnished and uncensored parts of ourselves as well as the aspects that we constrain and tame,” explains Sabrina. “The connection created by wine and food transcends language and cultural barriers. And in today’s world where it is increasingly difficult to connect, wine and food have the ability to slow life down and bring us together. That’s what we have set out to do with the Lions Head Collection.”

For Sabrina Persson, wine is a catalyst of connection. The Lions Head Collection aims to ignite conversation and bring people together over the dynamic artistry of winemaking.

The Panthera wines focus on Sabrina’s two favorite varietals — Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Panthera Chardonnay and Panthera Pinot Noir both offer a softer side of the Lions Head portfolio, balancing out the bigger and bolder Napa-based expressions found in the Collection’s Lion Tamer Red Blend and Lion Tamer Cabernet Sauvignon. The Panthera wines are elegant and beautifully balanced, but also intentionally confident in their expression of the appellation.  “In the Sonoma Coast, typically the fruit lends itself to cooler climate expressions, but we’ve found that the fruit we source from certain sites can support a bolder expression through winemaking,” says Sabrina. “That’s what makes Panthera such an exciting wine, there’s an elegant confidence where you least expect it.” 

Panthera Chardonnay and Panthera Pinot Noir wine Bottles
Panthera Chardonnay and Panthera Pinot Noir reflect Sabrina’s favorite varietals and offer an elegant, confident expression of the Sonoma Coast.

Rising star winemaker, Stephanie Pope, has been crafting these wines since the portfolio launched in 2014. While Stephanie’s specialty is at the blending table, she’s also mastered the art of leveraging the most progressive technologies in the cellar. From an optical sorter that uses high-speed image and sensory technology to custom select the best fruit from the vineyard, to double-insulated small-lot fermentation tanks, these advancements in winemaking allow for a refined level of quality that previously wasn’t possible. “There is a deeply scientific aspect to winemaking, of course, and the technology we are embracing amplifies and hones our capabilities. But there is still an artistic foundation in the blending process that stems from working with a vineyard year-over-year and respecting what is being expressed by the vines in a vintage. Ultimately, I feel like the wine will guide me; I just have to listen.” 

To learn more about the collection, join the community and connect over a bottle of these next generation wines.  

Winemaker Stephanie Pope
Winemaker Stephanie Pope actively leverages new technologies in the cellar to reach new boundaries in flavor profiles.


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