Cornerstone Cellars: winery information
Winemaker: Celia Welch
2008 Winemaker of the Year, Food and Wine Magazine
Born and raised in Medford, Oregon as the daughter of an avid wine collector and enthusiastic home winemaker, Celia Welch had an early introduction to both wine appreciation and the basics of wine making.
Realizing that professional wine making would combine her early fascination with flavors and aromas, her strengths in science and her love of the rural lifestyle, she decided to attend University of California at Davis and study Enology, or the study of wine making. She earned her B. S. degree in Fermentation Science in 1982.
After graduation, Celia extended her education by traveling throughout the wine growing regions of the Northwest, the East Coast, and New Zealand, and by working in Australia's Barossa Valley. Upon returning to Napa Valley, she spent several years assisting in wine production on Mt. Veeder and in the Carneros. She joined Silverado Vineyards in 1987 to design, implement and supervise a quality control program. In 1991 she became the assistant winemaker at Robert Pepi Winery. In 1992 she began consulting for Staglin Family Vineyard, a small, ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon producer. She resigned from Robert Pepi in 1995 to pursue her consulting career, and has acted as an independent winemaking consultant since that time.
Celia currently consults for a limited selection of ultra-premium Napa Valley clients, primarily with their own estate vineyards, and produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Chardonnay. Vineyard sources include Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, Howell Mountain and Carneros, in addition to bench land locations from St. Helena to Napa.
Celia has been honored with The Rising Star Award, from the Southern California Chapter of Women for Wine sense, and has been admitted to the Winemaker's Hall of Fame by the national chapter of the same organization. She is a professional member of the ASEV (American Society for Enology and Viticulture), and a past co-chair of the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group.
When not making wine, Celia enjoys bicycling, tennis, skiing and hiking. She lives in St. Helena with her two children, John and Marie.
Annual Production: 1,800 cases
Grape Varieties Planted