SEPPI Craft Sparkling wines is the debut project from vintner Kelsey Phelps, granddaughter of Napa Valley Wine Pioneer Joseph Phelps.
The Next Chapter in a Napa Valley Family Story
Created with the intention of carrying forward her grandfather’s legacy, Kelsey’s focus is to make wines that uphold the highest quality standards of the Phelps family while expressing her own modern take on California winemaking.
Eternally grateful for her grandfather’s influence, Kelsey learned from her grandfather Joe at the dinner table, in the vineyards and by watching him build an iconic business, Joseph Phelps Vineyard, which he founded in 1973 and whose wines are still made today.
Joe taught his family to seek out the best food and wine at every opportunity, and to celebrate every day — a tradition Kelsey is excited to carry on.
I created SEPPI Craft Sparkling Wine to honor my grandfather’s spirit of excellence and joie de vivre
— Kelsey Phelps, Lead Vintner & Proprietor
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 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.
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 fermentations to ensure his wines are balanced and elegant expressions of their terroir.