Our STORY

As third generation manufacturers, we believe in tradition and taking pride in cultivating a business that has been in our family for almost three-quarters of a century. In our pursuit to create a legacy for our family, we began our journey as vintners in the Napa Valley. We honor the traditions of this community with our love and appreciation for the gracious land as well as our spirit of hospitality.

Working closely with our team including Winemaker, Andy Erickson, and Vineyard Manager, Mike Wolf, we are confident in our product which is home-grown here in the Napa Valley. We express the utmost gratitude for being able to share our journey with you as we continue to pursue our vision and write our own story.

Proprietor

Neil Ellman

Neil moved to the United States from South Africa at the age of five. Upon graduating from college, Neil lived in Phoenix, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, working for the family mattress manufacturing business. As a third generation manufacturer, Neil continues to be the creative force behind his family business, overseeing sales and marketing. At one point, that business had him residing in California. It was during this time that Neil developed an affinity for Napa and a desire to be in the wine business. He considers himself fortunate to have been able to marry his passion for business and entrepreneurship with his love of great wine. Neil, his wife and two children currently reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Proprietor

Lance Ellman

Born in South Africa, Lance was only a baby when the family settled in the United States. After college, Lance entered the family mattress business to work alongside his brother, Neil. Whether he is managing facilities and machinery or crushing grapes, Lance is the operational force behind the success of the family business. Having been exposed to some of the finest wines, Lance knew that one day, there would be an Ellman Family Vineyards that would produce wines from the most distinguished regions in northern California.  Lance, his wife, and two children currently reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Winemaker

Andy Erickson

Andy brings to the winemaking at ELLMAN our shared values of family and friendship. His rich understanding of Napa Valley and his thoughtful approach in the vineyard and cellar, gives our wines and our estate the opportunity to grow into the multi-generational, family endeavor we dream of. Andy’s body of work as a winemaker is revered and stands alone in Napa. But it is his respect for his mentors, his eagerness to collaborate with vintners and winegrowers, and his focus on nurturing Napa’s next generation of winemakers that cause us to be elated to call Andy our winemaker and friend.

General Manager

Justin Vazquez

Justin's philosophy is simple: Service in itself is an art form, a way of creating a sense of place. Joining the team with over a decade of experience in the service industry, Justin has honed his skills working with the top hospitality programs in the country. In 2016, he decided to uproot his life in Florida and plant himself in the Napa Valley to continue his pursuit of intimately learning the wine industry and continuing his education with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Justin joined Ellman Family Vineyards in 2018 with the goal to help create a memorable experience for our guests that will transcend the time spent here with us in the Napa Valley.