The Jessup Cellars story is one of passion, family, hard work, resilience and, of course, fantastic wine. Founded in 1996, Jessup Cellars reputation for top quality, small-lot wines quickly grew in the Napa Valley. Husband and wife Roy and Cheri Eisiminger were two of the winery’s early investors. The Eisimingers had moved from the Midwest to Napa back in 1989 and Roy caught the “wine bug” through home winemaking.
A couple of years after making their investment, the Eisimingers met Dan and Becky Blue and Vance and Jana Thompson, who were visiting the Napa Valley from South Dakota at a backyard barbeque. There was an instant connection as healthcare professionals and their mutual appreciation for fine wine, great food and travel. A deep friendship grew over the years, which eventually lead to a business partnership with the Blues and Thompsons investing in Jessup Cellars in 1998.
Through the early 2000s, the Blues, Eisimingers and Thompsons engaged with Jessup Cellars as ambassadors for the wines and offered their creative vision. It was in 2004 when they learned that the traditional winery business model of selling through the three-tier distribution system had put serious financial constraints on the future of the winery.
The families responded first by turning to their friendship and trust, and reasoned that as a team they possessed the business and management expertise to succeed. They also had a vision to pull back from three-tier distribution and focus on personal hospitality and great experiences for their members and guests at our Yountville Tasting Gallery. To implement their plan, they acted quickly and took complete ownership of the winery in 2005 and performed as they do in their professional lives – they revived us, healed us, and made us a healthy, successful winery.
And now, as we approach our 20th Anniversary in 2016, our owners’ long-time friends Jim and Kelly Mazzo have joined our family of vintner partners to help support our mission in crafting world-class wines and presenting remarkable cultural experiences at Jessup Cellars, as well as sister wineries Handwritten Wines and Humanitas Wines.