Sonoma County region
Helen Keplinger is widely regarded as one of the most talented and innovative winemakers in California, having worked with some of the brightest winemaking minds in the industry.
Founded by husband and wife DJ Warner and Helen Keplinger in 2006, Keplinger Wines offers seamlessly-crafted, terroir-driven, Rhône-inspired wines from diverse vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and the Sierra Foothills. Helen Keplinger is widely regarded as one of the most talented and innovative winemakers in California, having worked with some of the brightest winemaking minds in the industry while also consulting for a number of premium clients throughout her career. She has been named ‘Winemaker of the Year’ several times by Food and Wine magazine, and it’s no wonder Helen’s Keplinger wines are so prized and highly-sought-after by the most distinguished wine enthusiasts.
Helen Keplinger grew up in Ohio in a family that was centered around food, wine, the arts, nature, and travel. Her father had a wine cellar from which her parents would select bottles to accompany dinner every night, and this combination of food and wine became an important part of her family evenings together. She would also collect empty wine bottles as a child - as well as rocks - which may have been an early indication of her future as a winegrower/winemaker.
Growing up, Helen always had an intense curiosity for science, a huge appreciation of art, and a gravitation toward nature, and it all dynamically came together when she decided to pursue winemaking. In 1998, Helen moved to California to attend the masters enology program at UC Davis, and the rest was history.
Since graduating, Helen Keplinger has built a remarkable winemaking career. She has worked with Heidi Barret, Kathy Joseph, Michel Rolland, and David Abreu, among others, and she has been the winemaker for such luminaries as Cellers Melis (Priorat), Kenzo Estate, Fort Ross, Sarocka, Scully, Arrow & Branch, and Bryant Family Vineyards. She has also consulted for a number of esteemed estates throughout California.
Helen’s husband, DJ, is a wine lover as well. DJ had co-founded an organic foods company and was managing a wine shop in Beverly Hills prior to meeting Helen, but once they got together, they traveled throughout Spain, southern France, the Laguedoc, and the Rhône, and they became steeped in the culture, lifestyle, food and wines. DJ and Helen became even bigger fans of the regional wines, as well as the complete Mediterranean way of life.
In 2006, Keplinger Wines became a reality with a tiny initial release of 250 cases. Over the years, their production has grown, but their focus has remained on selecting only the most exceptional vineyard sites and working with small lots that capture the uniqueness of each site and year. It is their desire to craft wines of balance and complexity that are true to their varietal and speak of their terroir. We are happy to share one of Keplinger’s latest accomplishments with our Platinum Plus! Wine Club members. Enjoy!