Beth Weber Novak

President & CEO

In 1987, Beth Weber Novak joined her mother, Mary Novak, becoming the first second-generation family member to become actively involved in guiding Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery. In the almost four decades since, Beth has played a key role in establishing Spottswoode as one of the world’s most highly regarded winegrowing sites, and as one of Napa Valley’s most iconic and respected wineries. She has also quietly built a reputation as a leader in the Napa Valley community, advocating on behalf of the wine industry, and the social and environmental causes about which she is deeply passionate.

Moving to Napa Valley with her parents in 1972, Beth grew up surrounded by the vineyards. Like her four siblings, Beth’s chores included tasks like suckering the vines and cleaning out the emitters. While her youth in Napa Valley may have planted the seed for her future, ironically, it was a year spent studying in Europe that made her begin thinking about a career in wine. After earning a degree in economics from UCLA, Beth joined a San Francisco-based wine brokerage representing such clients as Caymus, Joseph Phelps, and Pine Ridge.

When Mary asked Beth to help out a little at the winery, it didn’t take long for a few days a week to become a permanent way of life. “Back then, we were on our third release, and we were still in the red,” says Beth. “Two things became immediately obvious to me: this was a full-time position, and I absolutely loved being a part of the winery!” One of Beth’s first major decisions was to acquire the historic adjacent Kraft property to expand the estate and establish a barrel room and offices in its beautiful buildings. Since then, Beth has played an integral role in the thoughtful evolution of Spottswoode. Early in her tenure, Beth has overseen the replanting of the estate in response to phylloxera, the vineyard’s pioneering CCOF organic certification in 1992, and the building of the Spottswoode Estate Winery in 1999.

In addition, Beth has been a strong and effective voice for the Napa Valley wine community. Reflecting the high regard she is held in by her peers, in 1998 Beth was elected the youngest president ever of the Napa Valley Vintners, the first woman to hold the position. Believers in leading by example, Beth and Mary worked with four women winemakers in a row at Spottswoode, before promoting current winemaker Aron Weinkauf to that position. Beth also spearheaded the restoration of Spring Creek, which defines the southern boundary of the estate vineyard. In 2010, Beth and Mary were honorary chairs of Auction Napa Valley, a hugely successful event that raised more than $8,500,000 for Napa Valley nonprofits, and in 2007, Spottswoode joined 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of Spottswoode’s gross revenues each year to nonprofits that support a healthier world.

Beth has an unwavering commitment to the ideals and causes that she believes in. Whether it is her commitment to championing our environment, creating a stronger and more unified Napa Valley wine community, or stewarding this historic estate and vineyard site for future generations, she has been a pioneer throughout her career.

Above all else, Beth sees herself as a steward of her family’s winegrowing estate, carrying on the legacy begun by Mary, who passed away in 2016. “Our family has a four-decade relationship with this land that now spans three generations. I grew up here, along with my four siblings, and now the third generation is enjoying the property. When you own a family winery like ours, the cellar is like a photo album: each vintage of our Spottswoode Estate Cabernet is a picture of a year in our family’s life, and a testament for our love of this place. This is why it has always been so important to us that our wines reflect who we are, and what we believe in, both in terms of the way we farm our vineyard and in the beautiful, balanced style of our wines.”