Helen Keplinger attended the MS program in Enology at UC Davis. Since UC Davis, she has worked with Heidi Barrett at Paradigm in Napa Valley, Kathy Joseph at Fiddlehead in Santa Barbara, Michel Rolland, and David Abreu in Napa Valley. She has made wine for some exciting projects, including Cellers Melis (Priorat, Spain), Kenzo Estate, Arrow & Branch, Bryant Family Vineyards, and is currently crafting Kerr Cellars, Carte Blanche and Grace Family Vineyard.
Helen’s time in Priorat, Spain working with Grenache as Winemaker for Melis was the inspiration for Keplinger wines. Auspiciously, Helen met her now husband and business partner DJ Warner in a Spanish focused wine shop in Los Angeles towards the end of 2003. DJ, having worked in sales and marketing within the technology sector, moved to Los Angeles to launch an organic line of foods. Managing a Spanish wine shop part time in the evenings led the two to meet over a bottle of 1995 Pago de los Capellanes, Riserva from Ribera del Duero. In 2006, Helen founded Keplinger and the couple launched their first vintage in 2008 with a focus on small production, single vineyard Rhone varietal wines. Keplinger strives to create seamlessly-crafted, terroir-driven, Rhone varietal wines from diverse sites in Napa, Sonoma & Sierra Foothills. All the vineyards are hillside or mountain sites, carefully farmed for small berries and concentrated flavors, in close collaboration with Helen. The wines are made in small lots, with careful attention paid to every detail. Keplinger constantly strives to make unique wines that are expressions of their vineyards and vintages. Today, production of nine boutique cuvees totals 1,600 cases, and a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville Ranch Vineyard, Oakville AVA has been added to the line up.