Filed under: Wine
Joseph Phelps Vineyards, an independent, estate-based winery located outside of St. Helena, Ca., is a nominee for best domestic red wine.
Thirty-eight years ago, Joseph Phelps, established the business and built the winery which bears his name. Phelps pioneered a number of "firsts" in the early years of the winery. The 1974 Insignia, which was released in spring 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. In 1990, after years of research, a new line of Rhone-style wines was introduced, which today includes Syrah, Viognier and a Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blend called Le Mistral.
The winery's estate-owned vineyards are found in the premiere growing regions of Stag's Leap, Rutherford, Oakville, Oak Knoll and the eastern foothills of Napa. Joseph Phelps also owns 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay planted in Freestone. Additional varietals produced annually at Phelps include Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, several Rhone-style wines and a dessert wine made from Scheurebe. Its Insignia wines are one of California's most successful first growth luxury blends.
Gallery: Joseph Phelps Vineyards