Joseph Phelps Vineyards Celebrates 40th Anniversary
2013 marks the fortieth anniversary of Joseph Phelps Vineyards. To celebrate, the winery has planned a series of special events, including winemaker dinners and Insignia retrospective tasting events around the country and abroad, each showcasing the winery’s legendary forty years of winemaking excellence.
A fortieth anniversary themed Insignia Weekend celebration for the winery’s Phelps Preferred wine club members will commence in May. Additionally, Phelps has pledged fortieth anniversary themed wine auction lots to some of the country’s most prestigious charity auction events, most notably Auction Napa Valley, taking place May 30-June 1, 2013.
“We have so much to celebrate this year,” said Bill Phelps, President of Joseph Phelps Vineyards. “My father’s dream of starting a winery has more than exceeded our family’s expectations. The Joseph Phelps name and our flagship wine, Insignia, enjoy worldwide acclaim. This is a celebration of everything Joe and our dedicated team has worked for all these years.”
Joe Phelps first visited Napa Valley in the late 1960’s when his family’s firm, Hensel Phelps Construction Company was commissioned to build the Souverain Winery (now Rutherford Hill). After an extensive land search, Phelps purchased a 600-acre former cattle ranch from Pat Connolly in March, 1973. Grape contracts, vineyard planting and winery construction quickly followed with founding winemaker Walter Schug. The 1973 harvest consisted of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Johannisburg Riesling grapes, all custom crushed at nearby wineries. The Joseph Phelps winery was completed in time for the 1974 harvest, which yielded the grapes for the winery’s landmark first Syrah bottling along with the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that would become the first Insignia blend.
Today, Joseph Phelps Vineyards remains a family-owned winery crafting estate-grown wines from 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In addition, Phelps produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from two estate vineyards on the Sonoma Coast near the town of Freestone, California.
Fortieth anniversary events will be announced on a continual basis through the Joseph Phelps Vineyards website. We invite you to view the Events page for upcoming 40th anniversary festivities.
(Top right photo: The Joseph Phelps Vineyards 40th anniversary announced in New York's Times Square)