For many years the California wine industry considered climate the most important factor in grape growing, with site and soil considerations virtually ignored. Today, vintners and growers lean more toward the European approach of letting the site drive the winemaking process. The French term which describes this concept is terroir –- meaning not just the soil, but also the rainfall, drainage, exposure and climate specific to a given site. Today the goût de terroir or “taste of the soil” is what the wines of Joseph Phelps Vineyards are all about, from the elegant, multi-layered Insignia of Stags Leap and the Rutherford Bench, to the aromatic Viognier from St. Helena.
Please use the links at right to see details about each vineyard.