A Modern California Classic
SEPPI Craft Sparkling Wines is the debut project from vintner Kelsey Phelps, granddaughter of Napa Valley wine pioneer Joseph Phelps.
Kelsey created SEPPI Craft Sparkling Wines to carry forward her grandfather’s legacy after his passing in 2015. Her goal is to make wines that uphold the highest quality standards of the Phelps family while expressing her own modern take on California winemaking.
Kelsey grew up in the wine industry, learning from her grandfather at the dinner table, in the vineyards and by watching him build an iconic business. Like Joe, Kelsey is an entrepreneur at heart. She practiced law in Silicon Valley before following her dream to join her family in the wine industry. Kelsey opted to start her own company, SEPPI Craft Sparkling Wines, so that she could focus on creating wines that directly reflect her tastes and personality.
Since her transition to winemaking, Kelsey was named a finalist for the WSET/IWSC “Future 50” industry leaders award. She is a Level 1 accredited sommelier with both the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and an active member of Women of the Vine and Spirits.
Kelsey believes in working hard, but that success is meaningless without joy, fun, and a little lighthearted humor along the way.
Joe Phelps founded Joseph Phelps Vineyards in 1972. Kelsey is eternally grateful for her grandfather’s influence. Joe taught his family to seek out the best food and wine at every opportunity, and to celebrate every day!
The name “SEPPI” was the Phelps grandchildren’s nickname for Joe, whom, always the eccentric and loveable character (and particularly smitten with Italy at the time), decided he wanted to be called “Giuseppe” instead of grandpa. The young grandchildren had trouble with the pronunciation of Giuseppe, and thus the nickname Seppi was born!
Kelsey is grateful to have the mentorship of Keith Hock, longtime Napa Valley sparkling winemaker and generally one of the best people ever. Like Joe Phelps, Keith Hock arrived in the Napa Valley during an era when business was done with a handshake and trust. Keith spent 11 years making award-winning sparkling wine at the venerable Schramsberg Estate.
He currently lends his expertise to help producers throughout the North Coast of California elevate their craft in sparkling wine. He advocates a minimalist winemaking style and small lot ferminations to ensure his wines are balanced and elegant expressions of their terroir.