Joseph Phelps Vineyards
In 1972, Joseph Phelps Vineyards was established in the eastern part of St Helena AVA. Joseph Phelps Insignia is one of the classic wines of Napa Valley. The 1974 Insignia was the first California Bordeaux style blend to be bottled under a proprietary label. In the early years, grapes for the wine were sourced from other growers. But in 1989, Phelps started using grapes from his vineyards in Stags Leap and the Rutherford Bench.
Phelps also produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, a Napa Valley Cab and the exceptional Backus Vineyard Cab. Backus Vineyard is in the eastern hills of the Oakville AVA. While Insignia is a varying blend of the Bordeaux varietals based on the growing conditions of that year, the Backus Vineyard Cab is from a single vineyard and made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2005, Joseph Phelps stepped down as Chairman of the Board and his son Bill took over the position. Tom Shelton has been President and CEO sine 1995. Craig Williams has been at the winery since 1976 and is currently the VP and head winemaker. He graduated from UC Davis with a degree in fermentation science.