Helen Keplinger was appointed winemaker at Grace Family Vineyards in August 2014. She was a natural choice as her philosophy of making classically structured wines that reflect their origin aligns with the Grace family tenets. Helen will direct the production of the Grace Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon and Blank Cabernet Sauvignon. She will also steward the winemaking for Lynn and Kirk Grace’s project, Wise Acre Vineyard and collaborate with vineyard manager Kirk Grace in the ongoing organic viticultural protocols for the three acres of estate vineyard that are planted entirely to the Bosché clone of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food and Wine magazine in 2012, Helen is one of very few American winemakers who have worked extensively in Europe. She spent three years in the Priorat region of Spain at Cellers Melis before making Napa Valley her home, where she has worked with several wineries, including Bryant Family Vineyard, Arrow & Branch and Kenzo Estate. She and her husband, D.J. Warner, also have their own brand, Keplinger Wines, which emphasizes single vineyard Rhone variety wines. Helen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Smith College and a Master of Science Degree in Enology from the University of California, Davis.