Winemaking is not only an art but also an exacting science. Wineries can only survive by producing excellent vintages, innovating, and doing what is necessary to please their customers. While delivering the best-quality luxury wines must be every winemaker’s goal, ensuring the value and customer satisfaction comes from the management’s commitment and the entire organization’s efforts.
The founder of Bell Wine Cellars, Anthony Bell, opened the doors of his Yountville winery in 1998. A native of South Africa’s famous Stellenbosch winemaking region, Bell first spent several years in the Bordeaux Region of France honing his viticultural knowledge. The experience served to sharpen his understanding of the critical variables of growing and producing his favorite varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Following the European experience, Bell moved to California to pursue a Master’s Degree in Enology at UC Davis to grow and further perfect his vineyard management capabilities.
In 1979, Anthony moved to Napa Valley. He soon became a notable figure in the rapidly growing wine industry by first becoming the Assistant Winemaker and Viticulturist at the famous Beaulieu Vineyard, where he remained throughout 15 vintages.
During the subsequent years, Anthony Bell’s experience and knowledge played an important role in developing Napa Valley’s distinctive place in the global wine industry. Fully embracing the idea that great luxury wines come from great vineyards, Bell was influential in developing the now superior AVAs in Rutherford, Carneros, and Oakville.
Around that time, Anthony oversaw the development of the first grower relations program to continue to improve grape quality in the region.
The Beginnings of Bell Wine Cellars
Finally ready to create his own high-quality wine business, Anthony located a small, pale stone winery structure surrounded by oak trees just a short distance south of Yountville, the virtual midpoint of Napa Valley. Bell’s longtime dream was to establish a winery to produce limited quantities of premium wines that would showcase each local terroir’s attributes or the influence of soil and the microclimate from a specific vineyard location.
In 1998, Bell Wine Cellars began operations. Bell’s philosophy of creating elegant wines that revealed the characteristics of their surroundings proved successful as his reputation for making top-quality wines grew.
While at the Beaulieu Vineyard, Bell had crafted a famous signature Cabernet Sauvignon selection, the Clone 6. This centerpiece of offerings was the first single-vineyard, single-clone varietal. The wine’s success encouraged him to duplicate this process later in a nearby Rutherford vineyard that boasts the ideal conditions.
New Owners at Bell Wine Cellars
By 2002, having enjoyed decades of success and numerous accolades in the wine industry, Anthony Bell began to contemplate the future of the company and his eventual retirement. That year he sold the Bell Wine Cellars’ name and assets to create a partnership with successful business icons, Ron Berberian and Alex Spanos. The new partners brought proven entrepreneurial and management backgrounds as a former California wine wholesaler and the owner of the San Diego Chargers (among many other ventures), respectively.
The merger of Bell’s proven wine industry experience with the new partners’ marketing, management, and financial resources proved to be a dynamic blend.
Even following Bell’s retirement, the Berberian and Spanos families continue to bring honor to Anthony’s obsession for making premium wines in a familial atmosphere.
John Hazak, the current winemaker at Bell Wine Cellars, upholds Anthony’s tradition of craft winemaking with an eye to continuous improvement and excellence.
Winetasting at Bell Wine Cellars
All are welcome to sample the premium luxury wines at Bell Wine Cellars. The winery offers several options for an enjoyable and educational winery experience.
The tasting area sits beside the neat vineyard rows in a gorgeous pastoral environment accentuated by a mountainous backdrop.
Club members enjoy a wide range of special discounts and events and opportunities to enjoy wines not made available to the general public.
Currently open for comfortable outdoor tastings seven days per week, you must make your reservations in advance by visiting the Bell Cellars Website or phone 1 (707) 944-1673.