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 Vineyards pays tribute to Dr. Lewis Gibbs Carpenter, Jr., a lifelong farmer and psychologist who began 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 grape-growing set the stage for his son-in-law and grandson to create Gibbs Vineyards, built on passion and dedication and rooted in ancestry.
It is interesting to note that just as Lewis' 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' vineyards to greatness, but the entire valley as a whole.
Lewis's 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 Vineyards & 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.
In 2014, Craig's son, Spencer Gibbs Handley, joined 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 the 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. We are happy to share Gibbs' latest achievement with our Gold Plus! Wine Club members.
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
I started Gibbs with my son, Spencer Gibbs Handly, when his grandfather passed away in 2013 and we inherited the family vineyards. Our goal was to showcase the incredible quality of fruit Dr. Lewis Gibbs Carpenter had been growing for over 60 years and we like to think he would be immensely proud.
We are thrilled to share our 2016 Centa Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with you! This wine is composed of fruit hand-picked from one low-vigor block in our Centa Vineyard; the best fruit we have to offer. Planted by my father-in-law in the early 1960’s, the vineyard is tucked between the Silverado Trail and Napa River at the narrowest part of the valley in Saint Helena. This block sees intense heat throughout the summer season and is chock-full of obsidian, allowing for optimal soil drainage. The combination puts just the right amount of nutrients and stress on the vines resulting in small, dense clusters bursting with complex flavor and tannins. In a typical vintage, this fruit will become part of our flagship Three Clones Cabernet, however, occasionally we have an extraordinary vintage, which means I will select six to eight barrels and set them aside to create our Centa Vineyard Reserve!
We hope you enjoy this wine as much as we enjoy making it and hope you will reach out on a future trip to the Napa Valley. Raise a glass of Gibbs!
Owner & Winemaker