Gibbs Napa Valley
Napa Valley AVA
A small family winery nestled on the Napa Valley floor, Gibbs Napa Valley offers premium wines that are approachable, affordable, and honor their family's grape-growing legacy.
Founded by Craig Handley in 2013, Gibbs Napa Valley pays tribute to Dr. Lewis Gibbs Carpenter, Jr., a lifelong farmer and psychologist who first started growing premium fruit and wine grapes in Napa Valley in the 1950's. Lewis grew up among the cattle ranches of Gilroy and eventually moved to St. Helena in 1947 where he bought fertile land on the valley floor. There, he grew expansive orchards and a personal garden which were a testament to his hard-working attitude and dedication to Napa Valley's abundance of natural resources. Over the years, Lewis realized the Napa Valley property was ideal for growing high quality wine grapes, and by the 1970's, he had replaced most of the nut and fruit orchards with several Bordeaux varietals. Although Lewis himself had no plans of starting a winery, his sixty-plus years of premium grapegrowing set the stage for his son-inlaw and grandson to create Gibbs Napa Valley, built on passion and dedication and rooted in ancestry.
It is interesting to note that just as Lewis' nut and fruit orchards were replaced with vineyards in the 1970's, the great Judgement of Paris of 1976 was occurring. It was at this
momentous event that Napa Valley garnered international respect as a premier wine growing region - especially for the great Bordeaux varietals. This no doubt helped propel not only Lewis's vineyards to greatness, but the entire Valley as a whole.
Lewis' son-in-law, Craig Handley, was also in the wine business, working as a label designer for such brands as Beringer, Mondavi, and Kendall Jackson, among others. It wasn't until the year 2000 that Craig expanded on the family legacy and began crafting wines from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes grown on Lewis' property. These first batches, made in a tank in the Handley family's barn, were the beginning of Craig's new career as a winemaker. Over the next decade, he honed his skills while making private label wines under his first labels, Terroir Napa Valley and Sentall.
Sadly, Lewis passed away in 2013, but that same year, Craig Handley introduced Gibbs Napa Valley Winery, an expression of the quality of fruit that Lewis passionately grew for over sixty years. Lewis' life's work now lives on through this ultra-boutique family winery, which not only produces the great Bordeaux-style wines from the family's estate vineyards, but also a handful of wines made from superior neighboring vineyards (including Chardonnay from Bacigalupi Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir from Los Carneros, to name a few).
After graduating from the University of San Diego in 2014, Craig and Susan's son, Spencer Gibbs Handley, decided to join the family in growing and making wine. Spencer is the third generation of the Handley family working in the vineyards and he brings an ambitious attitude to new projects and the complex operations of running a small, family business. He got his start in the vineyard when Lewis taught him to drive a tractor at the age of five, and it seems fitting he's now a part of the family winery, helping to uphold his grandfather's grape-growing legacy.
Gibbs Napa Valley wines can be tasted at The Studio, a new vintner collective tasting room and retail space in downtown Napa that features several small producers throughout the valley. The inviting space, complete with wraparound decks, suspended daybeds and a full test kitchen with private cooking demonstrations offers a unique and comfortable setting for enjoying Gibb's award winning wines. We hope you enjoy one of their latest releases by joining our monthly wine club membership! Cheers!