Monday, July 31, 2017



WindVane was created as an homage to the wind that contributes to the unique character of Carneros wines. After working in the same vineyards for years, our winemaker Steven Urberg was intrigued by some of the windiest vineyard blocks in the estate. The wines coming from these wind-blown vines are concentrated with great depth of fruit and a generous mouthfeel. WindVane is selected from the very best parcels throughout our 335 acres of estate vineyards in the Carneros region of Northern California. Our unique property has an East facing exposure with a mountain range directly alongside the West side of the vineyards. The mountains provide altitude, shallow rocky soils, shade from the intense afternoon sun and they also serve to funnel the intense Pacific Coast breezes directly onto the vineyards. We select vines from the steepest, rockiest areas of the vineyards where the soils are very thin and the vines are challenged throughout the growing season. They face the natural elements of a cooler marine layer in the mornings and afternoons, and intense wind which results in small crops of very slow ripening fruit that produces intense character.

Steven Urberg’s finely tuned sense of focus, passion for detail, and strong science background are indispensable in crafting Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines. As a young man from Detroit, who came to California by way of U.C. Berkeley for graduate school in chemistry, Steven discovered that winemaking provides a way in which to use his innate technical ability in creating wine as an art.  His journey into winemaking began in 1995, when he decided to take a break from chemistry. He was offered a job at the Hess Collection, working in the cellar, and he never looked back. “The excitement of that first harvest at the Hess Collection inspired me to take a left turn from the path of chemistry research, return to graduate school at U.C. Davis, and pursue my new passion of winemaking,” says Urberg.  With his tremendous ability for hard work and focus, Steven Urberg integrates his scientific background with inspired artistry in crafting elegant and balanced Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines.. The diverse array of clones planted on the Gloria Ferrer estate vineyards, married with the Carneros terroir, result in a palate of flavors that is a dream come true to a scientist with an artistic bent. Clearly, Steven has the discipline and talent required to create the Gloria Ferrer wines that are true expressions of the Carneros region — sparkling and estate varietal wines — vintage to vintage.



Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch nearSt. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties, Insignia, first produced in 1974.

Bill Phelps was named Executive Chairman of Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 2016 having servedas President of the winerysince 2008. In his current role Bill’s primary responsibility is to ensure long-term family ownership and operation of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and to overseestrategic planningfor the winery and vineyard operations in both Napa Valley and the western Sonoma Coast.

Bill moved to Napa Valley in 1998 after a successful 20-year careerin law, primarily in the investment banking industry. In so doing, he became the first member of Phelps’ second generation to have an active role atthe winery on a long-term basis. He worked closely with his father, Joe Phelps, gradually taking on responsibility for the winery’s day-to-day operationsuntil his appointment as President in 2008. Billwasinstrumental in moving the wineryto an entirely estate-grown wine producer, a significant shift in strategy that was fully implemented by the harvestof2009. He was also involved in identifying and acquiring Phelps’ vineyard properties in Freestone on the western Sonoma Coast, and helped to oversee the construction of the winery there as well as the development of the wines.

Bill’s first role at Joseph Phelps Vineyards dates back to 1974 when he worked on the construction crew that built Phelps’ Napa Valley winery. He was on a summer break from college, and he remembers his father, Joe, driving him around Napa Valley and pointing outthelandmarks. “He sensed Napa Valley was going to be an important place for wine.”Today, as Executive Chairman, Bill is most concerned with preserving the legacy of Joseph Phelps Vineyards as a family-owned and operated winery. “Everything wedo is oriented to that goal.”

Bill is a past board member of the Land Trust of Napa County and the Community Foundation of the Napa Valley. He currently serves on the board of the Wine Service Co-Operative and is President of the St. Helena Choral Society.He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.He and his wife, Andrea, live in St. Helena.


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