Our Journey

The overused expression “It is the journey, not the destination” dances on the edge of banality. Yet, there is truth to the old saying, as often happens to be the case with clichés. We are interested in the unfolding of events, the delightfully serendipitous occurrences, and chance encounters that occur along the way because they give meaning to our destinations. Aleksander embodies our European roots, but it also incarnates the places and cultures that continue to shape our journey. Needless to say, our destination is ever shifting: it moves with us and with the members of our Aleksander family, those who have joined and those who continue to join us along the way.

This tale began in Slovenia, a small country that is globally recognized for its distinct ability to produce quality wines of all kinds. Our co-founders, Sasha and Goran, started to nurture a profound interest in wine during the early years of Sasha’s professional basketball career in Italy. Exploring the northern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, they developed a deep appreciation for the wines of Livio Felluga. Quickly, the father and son began to envision themselves owning a family winery that would reflect their respective palates and inherent familial epicureanism. After he was selected in the 2004 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Sasha and the family settled in California and embarked on a quest for the perfect piece of land, one that would bring them a step closer to bringing this vision to fruition.

Having accomplished the goal of founding what is now S&G Estate in Paso Robles in 2010, the whole family joined efforts to create a memorable, Merlot-dominant red, reminiscent of true Old-World wines, but made on Californian soil. After obtaining his business degree from the University of Redlands in 2016, and a successful season as head coach of a professional basketball team in Japan, Al decided to dedicate himself fully to Aleksander as chief operating officer. Since the genesis of the family brand, Ksenija and Goran have resided on the estate, running every aspect of the business, from production to logistics, as well as curating exclusive private wine tasting experiences. While pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), their daughter Nina has also remained deeply involved in the family business.

An exquisitely balanced Bordeaux blend, Aleksander is fruit of an enduring passion and collective family commitment to establishing an authentic legacy.