Joel Gott Wines
A brief history
Meet The Winemakers
Joel is a fourth-generation California vintner, and wine and food entrepreneur. Born in Napa Valley and raised in the Sierra Foothills where his parents started Montevina Winery, Joel later moved to Carmel and upon graduating high school went to work for Kenwood Winery in Sonoma County. He later got a job with Real Restaurant Group before venturing out on his own.View More
In 1993, Joel and his brother Duncan scraped together the money to purchase Palisades Market in Calistoga, transforming the small market into a retail shop with gourmet prepared foods and fine wines. Running the market gave Joel an education in business and a view of the wine industry that allowed him to spot the need for quality, value wines in the marketplace.
Maxing out his credit cards, Joel purchased several tons of Amador County Zinfandel from a family friend and grape grower in 1996. He made the wine with the help of his then-girlfriend and winemaker Sarah, whom he married the following year. Praised by the Wine Spectator, the Wine Advocate and the New York Times, Zinfandel helped put Joel Gott Wines on the map, and gave Joel the chance to produce additional varietals.
In 1999, Joel spotted another opportunity when a historic St. Helena burger stand came up for lease. Planning to lease only the parking lot for a produce stand, Joel and Duncan decided to rebuild Taylor’s Refresher (now named Gott’s Roadside). The stand quickly became famous for its gourmet burgers and milkshakes. Today, there are seven additional locations within the Bay Area.
Joel then partnered with Charles Bieler and Roger Scommegna on the upstart wine brand Three Thieves in 2001. Now partnered with Trinchero Family Estates, the two companies produce Bandit and The Show. In May 2009, Joel announced a joint venture with Trinchero Family Estates for the marketing and distribution of Joel Gott Wines. Another wine brand partnership would follow with Charles Bieler to produce Shatter, a French Grenache.
Today, Joel and his wife Sarah’s latest venture is the opening of the Station, a historic gas station turned corner store located in St. Helena that offers grab-and-go items such as coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads, drinks, soups and more.
Sarah grew up in Marin County and, later, in Knights Valley, a stretch of farmland and vineyards linking Napa Valley with Alexander Valley in northern Sonoma County. It was in Knights Valley that Sarah first gained an appreciation of wine that led her study in the University of California at Davis’ Viticulture and Enology Department, where she graduated in 1993 with a degree in Fermentation Sciences.View More
Following graduation, Sarah worked a few internships including one in Australia and one at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa Valley which later became a full-time position. In 1997, while working at Phelps, Sarah married vintner and entrepreneur Joel Gott, who had launched Joel Gott Wines in 1996 with Sarah as an informal winemaking consultant. Sarah remained at Phelps until 2002, eventually becoming winemaker with day-to-day responsibility for all production activities.
At her next position as winemaker at Quintessa—a Napa Valley winery producing a single, Bordeaux-style red—Sarah was allowed greater involvement in the rapidly growing Joel Gott Wines. In the harvest of 2003, Joel and Sarah had their first daughter, Lucy, and the following year Sarah left Quintessa to focus on their growing family which grew by having two more children.
When Sarah is not at the winery, she can be found competing in various triathlons across the country including Ironman competitions.
Joel Gott Wines Wines
Our 815 Cabernet Sauvignon reflects what each appellation gives to the wine. Fruit from Napa Valley lends complexity while Lake County adds structured tannins and minerality. The warmer Paso Robles appellation offers fruit-forward notes and riper tannins and fruit from cooler, windy Monterey produces smaller, more concentrated fruit clusters. Santa Barbara fruit adds spice and acidity while fruit from Mendocino gives the wine its dark color and rich, fruit flavors. Rounding out the blend, our Lodi fruit is characterized by rich flavor and soft texture. We source fruit from these varied regions throughout California to create an elegant, balanced wine.
Inspired by our favorite Southern Rhône and California Rhône-style wines, we blended Grenache with small amounts of Syrah, Carignane and Mourverde. We sourced the larger part of this blend from the Monterey appellation where windy, cool weather, similar to that in France’s Rhône Valley, stressed the vines, creating smaller, more concentrated fruit clusters. Fruit from Sonoma adds power, structure and spice to the blend. Vineyards closest to the coast in Santa Barbara experience cool, foggy mornings and warmer afternoons, bringing out delicate, red fruit flavors and balanced acidity in the grapes. Finishing out the blend is a small amount of Carignane from old vines, adding complexity and color to the wine.
To make a well-balanced red wine, we blended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Alicante, Malbec and Syrah from six different appellations in California. Fruit from Napa Valley lends complexity while Sonoma adds a touch of spice to the blend. Amador fruit adds concentration while Mendocino fruit gives the wine its color, rich, ripe fruit flavors and tannins. Lake County adds structured tannins and minerality while fruit from Lodi rounds out the blend adding rich flavors and soft texture.
To make a well-balanced red wine, we blended Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, Malbec and Zinfandel from three different appellations in Columbia Valley. The Wahluke Slope and Yakima Valley appellations experience desert-like conditions in the spring and summer months where hot days are followed by cool nights. As a result, the grapes are smaller with thicker skins which adds complexity and structure to the wine. Fruit from Red Mountain, the smallest AVA within the state experiences the longest sunlight hours of any appellation in the state, followed by cold nights resulting in fruit with rich, fruit flavors and good acidity. Sourcing from these varied appellations across Washington helps to create an elegant and well-balanced wine.
We sourced the fruit for this wine from Santa Barbara County, because of its ideal conditions for growing elegant Pinot Noir with nuanced flavors. Vineyards closest to the coast in the Central Coast AVA experience cool, foggy mornings and warmer afternoons, bringing out well-developed fruit flavors and balanced acidity in the grapes. Fruit from vineyards located more inland from the Sta. Rita Hills and Los Alamos Valley AVAs add spice and minerality to the wine. Sourcing from these varied regions within the Central Coast helps to create an elegant, fruit forward and richly textured wine