Hiding in plain sight just south of the town of Yountville in Napa Valley is a small-scale, grapes-to-glass winery that may be short on glitz by Napa standards but is long on heart and soul. And what a setting in the heart of Napa Valley! Elyse Winery merits a special stop on any Zinfandel lover’s (or Zinfandel newbie’s) day in Napa Valley. Specializing in producing boldly-styled small lot wines from some of Napa Valley’s oldest and most illustrious vineyards since 1987, Elyse is a reference point for preserving the century-old Zinfandel tradition in Napa Valley.
In 1987, Ray and Nancy Coursen started Elyse Winery with 286 cases of Zinfandel from the old Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford. Since then, Elyse has blossomed into a vineyard- by-vineyard portfolio of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirahs focused on pure expression of fruit with a sense of place.
After thirty years of stewardship, Ray and Nancy decided that it was time to retire and handed the reins to local Napa Valley friends Josh Peeples and his partner, Cheryl Foil. In a case of ideal timing and shared vision, the Elyse mission of making authentic single vineyard wines would continue uninterrupted. Since 2018 the Elyse wines are being crafted under the steady hand and gifted palate of acclaimed winemaker Russell Bevan.
Elyse produces three old vine zinfandels: Morisoli Vineyard on the Rutherford Bench; a Dry Creek old vines; and Korte Ranch north of St. Helena. True to tradition, Elyse offers relaxed tasting experiences 7 days a week. Visitors should call ahead for reservations.
- Wine Club
- On-site Retail
- Online Retail
- By Appointment
- Check winery website