About Us

Our Story

Dominic Xie was born in 1962 in the wine country of Ningxie Province, China. Coming of age in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution he studied at Stanford, raised a family, pursued a successful career in government and business, but never forgot his roots in the vineyards at the edge of the Gobi Desert.

In 2012 the Xie family acquired the old Cahill estate and winery in the Russian River Valley. In his many years of travel around China and the world, Dom had quietly but consistently pursued his love of wine and country life in Mediterranean Europe and the Americas. But it was California that spoke to him most clearly, to his own love of the land, of purity and simplicity. Ektimo (from the Greek, “εκτιμώ”, to appreciate) is Dom’s expression of gratitude for the bounties of nature and fortune, his desire to use them well here, and most of all, our desire to share them with you.

 

Winemaking Philosophy

Winemaking satisfies both intellectual and artistic elements. The goal atEktimo Vineyards is for each wine to showcase the character of the vineyard while developing a house style. We prefer wines that have pure aromatics, concentrated flavors and an elegant structure. Our wines are balanced in fruit, alcohol, tannins, acidity and oak. A great wine should make you think, but most of all it should tempt you to come back for more.

The Team

Lisa, Winemaker

Winemaker Lisa Bishop Forbes is dedicated to creating excellent wines that are flavorful, enjoyable and reflective of their place. Spurred on by an inspirational high school chemistry teacher, Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Enology from Fresno State. She had the great fortune to start her career as enologist at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, learning about top quality winemaking while running the lab and helping run the production department. From there, Lisa joined Chalk Hill Estate in 1995 as assistant winemaker, managing day to day winemaking. A chance for career advancement led Lisa to Dry Creek Vineyard in 2004, first as associate winemaker and ultimately winemaker for the family-owned winery. There she honed her personal winemaking style, showcasing the vineyard and creating elegant wines that are beautifully balanced. In 2010, opportunity knocked again at Chalk Hill, with a move to Director of Winemaking for the estate. Never one to rest on her laurels, Lisa joined Ektimo Vineyards and Ross Road Custom Crush as winemaker in 2015. The chance to use her experience to help the Xie family build their business and make Ektimo a real success drew her to the Russian River Valley winery. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are particular favorites, and the Ektimo wines don’t disappoint. She sees a great future ahead.

Ivan, Enologist

Born and raised in Sonoma County, Ivan’s career in wine stemmed from a lab internship with Rodney Strong in 2003. It was there that he grew a passion for the art of winemaking and loved being a part of the process from beginning to end. During his 8 years with Rodney Strong, Ivan excelled tremendously developing the knowledge and tools for professional growth. Following his experience at Rodney Strong, Ivan spent time working at Rack & Riddle helping with Custom Crush clients in the lab and later moved on to Sebastiani where he worked as the Lab Manager. Today, we are very lucky to have someone so experienced and passionate as Ivan here at Ektimo and look forward to what he has in store for us as our Enologist for both Ektimo Wines and Ross Road Custom Crush!

 

Julius, Tasting Room Manager

With 17 years of tasting room management experience, with a comprehensive background in food & beverage and hospitality management, Julius likes the title “professional consumer”.