Winemaker, Grace Family Vineyards
Helen Keplinger was appointed winemaker at Grace Family Vineyards in August 2014. She was a natural choice, as her philosophy of making classically structured wines that reflect their origin aligns with the Grace Family tenet that wine be the unique expression of its singular terroir. Helen directs the production for Grace Family’s three distinct St Helena AVA Vineyards: Grace Family Estate, Cornelius Grove, and Heath Canyon.
Named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food and Wine magazine in 2012, Helen is one of very few American winemakers who have worked extensively in Europe. She spent three years in the Priorat region of Spain at Cellers Melis before making Napa Valley her home, where she has worked with several illustrious winemakers and continues to consult for wineries.
In addition to her work with Grace Family, she and her husband, D.J. Warner, also have their own brand, Keplinger Wines, which emphasizes single vineyard Rhone variety wines. Helen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Smith College and a Master of Science Degree in Enology from the University of California, Davis.
Country born: USA
Education: UC Davis MS Enology
Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years
Honors / Awards:
Smith College Award for Excellence in her field
Winemaker of the Year 2012 Food and Wine
Seamlessly crafted, terroir-driven wines from distinctive and diverse sites in Napa, Sonoma and the Sierra Foothills.