Meet the Winemakers
Dr. Grover C. Lee: Winemaker & Winery Owner
Dr. Grover Lee grew up in the central valley of California with thousands of acres of grape vineyards surrounding his modest home. Throughout his high school years working in vineyards and testing labs he gained an appreciation of viticulture and enology. At Cal Poly S.L.O., this interest in wine making expanded as he received a BS in Biological Science with minors in Chemistry and Biochemistry and one year in a Master's program in Biochemistry. On to the University of the Pacific where he entered as a PhD candidate in Biochemistry but decided to double major in the PhD Biochemistry and Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy programs. Dr. Lee completed all of his course work in Biochemistry but ended with a Doctorate in Clinical Pharmacy. Dr. Lee continued his education with a Medical School Board Certification in Managed Care Medicine.
He started making his own wine in the early-nineties at a local winery. Dr. Lee read many technical winemaking, and vineyard management books and took extension courses from UC Davis in Viticulture & Enology. His quest to learn included reading most of the test books used in the viticulture & Enology departments at UC Davis. With a base of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology and much more, his technical knowledge of winemaking was formed from a solid foundation.
Traveling extensively throughout Europe and taking copious notes about wine making techniques as he talked with winemakers was an epiphany of life and changed how Dr. Lee looked at the art and science of winemaking. By applying a rigorous scientific approach to wine making, the best of classic wine making was utilized when it met the rigors of science. The appreciation of European wine making and importance of food and wine has shaped his wine making style to this day.
Kevin Luther: Winemaker & Vineyard Manager
Kevin Luther is the Winemaker & Vineyard Manager at Wise Villa Vineyards & Winery. In these roles he handles everything from grape to bottle here at the Villa, working with his talented crews in the vineyard & cellar.
Kevin was born and raised in Sacramento in a huge family of carpenters and farmers. After obtaining a Winemaking degree from the world’s foremost school of Viticulture & Enology (UC Davis) and graduating a Regents Scholar, Kevin’s adventurous spirit inspired him to travel and explore. He spent the next 5 years apprenticing at the best wineries around the world to master the craft of winemaking, filling in gaps between harvests by backpacking around the world. He then returned home to Sacramento, and in 2010 joined Wise Villa Winery the year before the first vintage of wines were released. Over the last decade Kevin has been instrumental in expanding Wise Villa from growing and producing 1,500 cases in the 2009 vintage, to 12,000 cases of wine currently. In 2015, with Kevin as Winemaker, Wise Villa won the prestigious Golden State Winery of the Year from the California State Fair.
Ever adventurous, in 2016 Kevin graduated from Sonoma State University with an Executive Master’s Degree in Wine Business Administration. In 2018 Kevin is on pace to graduate with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, and plans to pursue a Master of Wine in 2019, a prestigious degree held by only six Winemakers worldwide.
Other than wine, Kevin’s passion for life expands into his many hobbies. When not making wine, much of his time is spent traveling, having lived in 5 countries and traveled to over 40 countries. Kevin spends his remaining free time gardening, cooking from scratch, reading and studying, yoga, partner acro-yoga, basketball, rock climbing, and triathlons.