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Napa Valley go-to merchant 750 Wines acquired by Wine Access of San Francisco

A San Francisco-based wine club and e-tailer has acquired 750 Wines, a Napa Valley shop focusing on hard-to-get luxury labels.

Wine Access, which started in Napa Valley in the mid-1990s and grew into a source for guiding wine aficionados to discoveries, was attracted to purchase the St. Helena wine merchant run by Monica and David Stephens because of their connections to top-end producers and consumers.

“750 Wines has been a true wine insider's paradise for over 10 years, where wine enthusiasts and vintners come together and share the best that the Napa Valley has to offer,” said Wine Access CEO Joe Fisch in an email. “At Wine Access, we see it as our mission to connect people and place through wine by championing both consumer and winery alike. Monica and David have been doing that as good as anyone which is something we value tremendously as an organization. We see tremendous value in deep and meaningful relationships that 750 has with their clients and wineries partners as well as what the 750 Wines brand stands for.”

The deal closed in January. Details of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

The Stephens, who are said to have named their shop after the standard 750-milliliter bottle size, are said to have been key to the rise of notable Napa Valley brands.

They credit the top wine critic Robert Parker Jr. with this accolade: “I was at the opening of a wine shop in St. Helena, 750 Wines, a new project by David Stevens and his wife Monica, aka, the most connected person I know in Napa.”

Monica Stephens, co-founder and executive director of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in Napa Valley, receives one of North Bay Business Journal's 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Leadership Awards at Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country hotel in Santa Rosa on Oct. 26, 2018. (JEFF QUACKENBUSH / NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL)
Monica Stephens, co-founder and executive director of Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch in Napa Valley, receives one of North Bay Business Journal's 2018 Nonprofit Leadership Leadership Awards at Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country hotel in Santa Rosa on Oct. 26, 2018. (JEFF QUACKENBUSH / NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL)

That opening was in 2009. Wine Access launched its online wine store in 2017. Wine Access will now host 750 Wine’s inventory and continue to innovate on upstream offerings to customers around the country.

The two organizations originally connected when Vanessa Conlin, M.W., head of wine at Wine Access joined the board of the Stephens’ animal welfare nonprofit, Jameson Humane.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to grow 750 Wines alongside David, sharing the world of small production wines made by our friends and colleagues in Napa Valley,” said Monica Stevens. “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with the team at Wine Access. As one of the largest and most respected online wine providers, we knew this would be the right opportunity to unlock access to a wider range of cult and iconic wines from around the world for our members.”

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Before the Business Journal, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. He has a degree from Walla Walla University. Reach him at jquackenbush@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4256.

Correction, Feb. 7, 2021: The original story incorrectly reported Robert Parker Jr.’s status.

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