Bill Phelps

Bill Phelps

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

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Bill Phelps was named Executive Chairman of Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 2016 having served as President of the winery since 2008. In his current role Bill’s primary responsibility is to ensure long-term family ownership and operation of Joseph Phelps Vineyards, and to oversee strategic planning for 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 career in law, primarily in the investment banking industry. In so doing, he became the first member of Phelps’ second generation to have an active role at the 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 operations until his appointment as President in 2008. Bill was instrumental in moving the winery to an entirely estate-grown wine producer, a significant shift in strategy that was fully implemented by the harvest of 2009. 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 out the landmarks. “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 we do 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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