Joseph Wagner is the 5th generation in an impressive family of winemakers in the Napa Valley, California.
Joseph is the middle child of the three who are engaged in the family business. Chuck Wagner his father and Co-founder of the Caymus Vineyards winery located in Rutherford, the same one that was forged back in 1972 when Charly Sr., his wife Lorna and Chuck began to market the wine that until then was for their own consumption, wines of vineyards that had been planted in the 1960s.
Joseph was fortunate to be raised in a family of grape growers and winemakers. Having the amount of knowledge and experience from previous generations was something that has undoubtedly laid an immense foundation on which to build. Along with the opportunity in front of him when he joined the family business, he had a great responsibility for the current times, but more importantly, to pass the family legacy on to his children in a better state than when he received it. The focal point of being part of a generation of family winemakers is expanding in the business they taught you.
In 2002, while still in high school, he started a project called Meiomi, which started as a mixture of Pinot Noirs from the coastal regions of Sonoma, with some contributions from Riesling and Gewurtztraminer. A project that was consolidated back in 2006 and that revolutionized the market due to its price / quality ratio.
Since then, Joseph Wagner has been working in parallel on projects such as Elouan un Pinot Noir from the state of Oregon and Beran Zinfandel, with the help of John López. An assistant winemaker who used to work with his father Chuck and who supervises all projects with Joe today.
Joseph had no formal wine education, he started working alongside his father at age 19 and learned the job as he went along. It started in the vineyards, then with winemaking, later sales, and finally business administration. He had his weaknesses and made mistakes, but it was that practical learning that cannot be replicated by books. Winemaking and grape growing are highly reactive processes. You never know what you will face when you wake up in the morning. For him, it is the challenges and independent learning that he enjoys the most »
Joseph Wagner's Pinot Noir Epiphany was more organic than most. A summer job at age 15 made him plant in the Taylor Lane vineyard. When she was 19 years old, Belle Glos was launched, a new Pinot Noir Single Vineyards project from 3 different Regions (AVAs), which was named after her grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner.
But Joseph Wagner is always looking forward. The future location for Copper Cane production is a planned facility on Mare Island in Vallejo, at the southern tip of the Napa Valley, where the Napa River empties into San Pablo Bay. The site is a former submarine repair facility, and Wagner expects it to be renovated and operational by 2021.
Meanwhile, Joe Wagner is moving forward with another unique project: a bar, a tasting room, and a restaurant in downtown Napa. Several years ago, he bought a row of three historic buildings on Main Street, one of which housed Fagiani, a historic Napa bar that had been closed for decades.
Joe is not only aiming to produce 10 or 20 million cases of wine, he aims to make Copper Cane Wines a luxury emblem for the wine consumer.
In 2014 Joseph Wagner sells his Meiomi brand to the Constellation group, allowing him to fulfill his life's dream: to found Copper Cane Wines & Provisions. A company that in addition to producing high-end wines, produces Habanos with its Avrae brand and a line of swimwear that is run by his wife.
After the sale of Meiomi, Joseph Wagner set a goal to acquire 1.6 Million Ha. Of which today he only has 400 thousand Ha between his own and leased. Joe is currently building a new winery in Napa Valley, between Sta. Helena and Calistoga. The facility will be prepared to support 2 million liters of wine. The idea of this project is that the consumer can see and be part of the elaboration process.
Another winery project is The Dairyman in Sonoma County, located on a property outside Sevastopol, which was once a dairy and is located in the midst of 162,000 M2 of Pinot Noir vineyards. Wagner has plans for a winery that holds 4.5 million liters of wine plus a distillery with a capacity of 9.5 million liters, focused on brandy. The goal is for The Dairyman to be a home to facilitate research and development for all of our Sonoma wine production.