The Ellman Family Vineyards


Honored To Support The Cause

Written By Debra Gelbart
November 2019

The Ellman family sees generous charitable giving as key to the success of the mattress companies they established on two continents and the vineyards and winery they created in Napa, California.

“We do believe and have always believed that you have to give back,” explained Neil Ellman, who with his brother Lance runs the Ellman Family Vineyards. “Part of what has made us successful is giving back to society causes.

Leon moved his family from South Africa to Florida in the early 1970s and established the International Bedding Corporation. That company grew to become one of the largest mattress manufacturing companies in the U.S. IBC was sold to a private equity firm in 2005 and shortly thereafter, Neil and Lance (who as adults had become business partners with their father) left to ponder the next entrepreneurial move.

Expanding To The Ellman Family Vineyards in Napa. California

Neil has nurtured another passion since the early ‘90s. “When I was living in California, I fell in love with the wine region,” Neil said. “I saturated myself in the culture and became a collector of all wines—French, Italian, Spanish, South American and California.”

Neil and Lance decided to begin creating a world-class vineyard and winery in Napa.

“We purchased a 14-acre vineyard in Napa on land that borders the famed “Silverado Trail” and call it our Estate Vineyard”, Nell said. “We are pleased to say that our grapes have been a source for one of the great Cabernet brands in Napa. The original water tower, barn, and sprawling vines are key features on the property as well as the soon-to-be new home which will uphold the time-honored tradition of the area.”

Commitment to Seena Magowitz

The success with wine-making has allowed the Ellman family to be especially charitable toward the Seena Magowitz Foundation. In 2017, the family donated an auction item for the Foundation’s annual golf classic that was valued at about $70,000. It included transportation for two aboard a private jet to Napa, California, a two-day stay at a luxury resort, gourmet meals and tours of several local wineries.

“This was an exceptionally generous donation and was instrumental in helping us raise more money for the Foundation in 2017 than we had raised in any previous year,” said Roger Magowitz, founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation.

Neil added that he wants to continue helping to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. “The more money we can direct toward this cause, the quicker we can reach that ultimate mission.