Joseph Phelps Vineyards sold to a French luxury company | Wine

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PAUL FRANCON

LVMHone of the world’s leading producers and distributors of luxury beverages, has purchased Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Saint Helena.

The company already owns Chandon and Newtown Vineyards in Napa Valley. The deal follows the recent sale this year of two other iconic local wine brands, Shafer Vineyards and Silverado Vineyards.

Founded by construction manager Joseph Phelps in 1973, the Napa and Sonoma-based wine collection is one of the most respected in America. Phelps’ legendary Insignia, a Bordeaux-style Napa blend, and Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon sell for over $300 a bottle.

Phelps started with a 670-acre former cattle ranch in Spring Valley, an almost totally enclosed valley east of St. Helena, and planted vineyards and built a redwood winery there.

They now own and operate 425 acres of vines in Napa Valley across nine vineyards in St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Stags Leap District, Oak Knoll District, South Napa and Carneros, as well as 100 acres in two vineyards west of Sonoma. Coast where they produce Freestone Estate wines.

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Joseph Phelps’ son, Bill, joined the family business in 1998 after a successful career in law. As Executive Chairman now, he oversees Joseph Phelps Vineyards.

The winery’s board includes Joe’s daughters, Leslie, Laurie and Lynn. In 2016, third-generation family members Elizabeth Neuman, Director of Business Development and Marketing, and Will Phelps, Director of Hospitality and Consumer Sales at the winery were appointed to the management team of the cellar.

Elizabeth Phelps Neuman and Will Phelps will remain on board.

LVMH also owns Dom Pérignon, Château d’Yquem and Château Cheval Blanc in France.

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