Lily was born in Manhattan and moved with her family to El Molino Winery in St. Helena when she was nine. The old ghost winery had been converted to a home by Great Aunt Nancy shortly after the end of Prohibition. Ghosts and bats abounded in the circa 1871 cave. Since child labor was never frowned upon, there was a lot to be learned in the age-old tradition of apprenticeship under her winemaking father.
After a Liberal Arts degree from Pepperdine University, she worked at Sherry Lehmann Wines & Spirits in New York City, confirming that city life fell short to the charms of the country. Lily and her South African husband, Jon, are owners and do everything from winemaking to sales, and are sometimes assisted on winery tours by any or all of their three children. They have traveled the wine regions of France, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.