in 1972, the winery and home vineyards of Joseph Phelps are located in Spring
Valley near St. Helena on a 600-acre ranch that is characterized by rolling hills,
California native oaks, and l60 acres of meticulously tended vines. The first
Phelps wine, a 1973 Johannisberg Riesling, was introduced in the fall of 1974.
Since then, production has grown to l00,000 cases annually with Cabernet Sauvignon
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot serving as the winery's core varietals.
The Phelps portfolio also includes - in years when weather conditions permit-
luscious dessert wines made from Johannisberg Riesling, Scheurebe, Semilion and
Long known for his innovative spirit and passion for quality, Joe Phelps pioneered
a number of "firsts" in the early years of the winery. The 1974 Insignia - released
in the spring of 1978 - was the first Bordeaux-style blend produced in California
under a proprietary label. The release of the 1974 Syrah in 1977 sparked industry-wide
interest in a remarkable French varietal whose plantings in California had disappeared
and been virtually Forgotten for over half a century. And in 1990, after years
of research a whole new family of Rhone-style wines was introduced under the Vin
du Mistral label and included Syrah, Viognier, Grenache Rose, and an impressive
red wine blend named Le Mistral.
The architecture of the winery reflects the same commitment to quality and attention
to detail as the wines crafted within. A massive wisteria-covered trellis made
from 100 year-old recycled bridge timbers dominates the entrance way, visually
anchoring the redwood building to the surrounding terrain. From the tree-shaded
back terrace, visitors are afforded a spectacular view of Spring Valleys St. Helena,
and the Mayacamas Mountains to the west. And, after many years of planning, the
newest jewel in the winery's architectural "great hall" with vaulted ceiling,
floor-to-ceiling bay windows and elegant furnishings.
The key figures in the winery are Tome Shelton, President; Craig Williams, Winemaker;
Joseph Phelps, Chairman; Vance Schram, CFO; and Bulmaro Montes, Vice President
of Vineyard operations.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards / 200 Taplin Road / St. Helena, CA 94574 / 800-707-5789
Visitors welcome daily, tours and tastings by appointment.