Napa Valley winery Joseph Phelps Vineyards hires Jay James as sales executive

Jay James has been hired as vice president of sales at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, a family-owned winery in the Napa Valley.

James will “join the Joseph Phelps leadership team and in his new role assume responsibility of strategic sales positioning and growth both in the United States and internationally,” the winery’s announcement stated.

James recently was vice president and general manager at Larkmead Vineyards and previously worked as director of sales at Chappellet Winery. His new employer stated James has a background in wholesale management, wine education and hospitality.

James was the opening director of Wine for The Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. He earned the master sommelier designation and serves as co-chairman of SommFoundation (The Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation).

Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena, Joseph Phelps Vineyard now controls and farms just over 400 acres of vines in Napa Valley on nine estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa. In 1999 the Phelps family purchased land near the town of Freestone on the western Sonoma Coast, planted 100 acres of vineyards, and built a dedicated winery.

Phelps is best known for its flagship wine, Insignia, a Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties first produced in 1974.

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