Celebrating the First Fifty Years Learn More
March 1, 1973. It was a Thursday. Roberta Flack was at the top of the American music charts and Pink Floyd released its landmark Dark Side of the Moon album. It was also the day Joe Phelps acquired a 600-acre former cattle ranch just outside the small community of St. Helena, Napa Valley in order to found his namesake winery. It was the beginning of an unparalleled journey in wine.
Fifty years later, we are in awe of what was accomplished along the journey, from laying out vineyards and construction of the winery, to the first varietally labeled Syrah and the first proprietary named blend of Bordeaux style varieties known as Insignia in 1974. Joe was also an early proponent of single vineyard wines through Backus and Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir from the Heinemann Vineyard. The winery also made intentional land acquisitions over many years in Rutherford, Oakville, Stags Leap District, the Oak Knoll District and South Napa. Eventually, the quest for the perfect place to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay took Phelps to the western Sonoma Coast region of Freestone beginning in 1999. Standout moments include the renovation of our beloved original winery in 2014, and the bittersweet farewell to Joe Phelps upon his passing in 2015. The winery launched its first culinary program in 2017 to expand hospitality offerings, and continually positioned Joseph Phelps wines for global recognition that created an exceptional foundation for our next fifty years.
We are humbled and elated to be reaching this significant milestone. Our past and present contain important moments and memories through shared wine, food, laughter, and cheer. Above all, we find ourselves immensely grateful for what our founder Joe Phelps and his family created and is continued today. We are grateful for the multitude of dedicated individuals to have worked at the winery over the years and for the support of our customers through the good times as well as the challenges.
We are a winery team of hard work, shared values, and a steadfast desire to produce the finest wines in Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast to be savored during those special moments, large and small, in life. We thank you for joining us on this remarkable journey. Please join us in raising a glass to the first fifty years of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and many more to come!
– The Team at Joseph Phelps Vineyards