Napa Valley wine family honored by conservation agency

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The Joseph Phelps Vineyards in St. Helena and the Phelps family have been honored by the Land Trust of Napa County with its 2019 Acre by Acre Award, recognition of their contributions to conservation.

The award announcement stated that in December 1999, Joseph Phelps donated a 480-acre conservation easement to the land trust.

“It was not only a significant, generous and lasting accomplishment by itself, but was important in the history of the Land Trust,” the organization stated.

“It was one of the largest conservation easements the Land Trust had received up to that point,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the conservation agency, “helping to build the credibility of easements as an effective tool for conservation, and Joe Phelps’ example helped motivate other landowners to protect their land through easements.”

The family’s other contributions to the conservation cause included Joe’s son, Bill Phelps, serving on the land trust board from 2000-2006 and Joseph Phelps Vineyards hosting gatherings for the land trust and yearly hikes on the property.

The award was presented at trust’s sixth annual Cornerstone Society Gathering, held Sept. 28. Joseph Phelps’ daughters, Laurie Anderson, and Lynn Finch, along with their husbands, attended the event and accepted the award on behalf of their family.

“Not only was it an honor to attend the dinner and accept this estimable recognition of our father, but an added benefit was learning more about the Land Trust and discovering the large impact that it has and all that it has to offer,” said Anderson.

“Laurie and I were extremely honored to personally accept the Acre by Acre award on behalf of our father and our family,” said Finch. “All of us supported our dad’s granting of the easement in 1999, and have enjoyed, over the last 20 years, many proud moments as a result of that decision.”

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