There are few labels as pervasive on wine shop and grocery store shelves as Josh Cellars. Founded in 2007 by New York native Joseph Carr, Josh Cellars was founded as a means of honoring Carr’s father Josh, who spent his life volunteering, giving back, and instilling core family values in his children. Beyond that, the wine label strives to make accessible, well-rounded Napa Valley wines that don’t break the bank.
Though the brand may have gotten its start producing Cabernet Sauvignon, it now offers a number of reds, whites, and sparklings as well as a collection of reserve wines. Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are eight more things you should know about Josh Cellars.
Josh is not Carr’s only wine label.
Prior to founding Josh Cellars, Joseph Carr got his start in winemaking under his self-titled wine brand Joseph Carr Wines. In love with Napa Valley, the New Yorker was heavily influenced by the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy when creating his first wine label, looking to expand a portfolio of Old World-inspired wines that were distinctly Californian. In 2002, the first release of Joseph Carr wines — featuring premium Napa Cabernet Sauvignon — hit the market, three years before the first vintage of Josh Cellars. Today, Joseph Carr Wines has six expressions available for purchase.
Josh Cellars is a tribute to Joseph Carr’s father.
Joseph “Josh” Carr instilled the value of community and family in his children from a young age. A military veteran who worked as a lumberjack and volunteer firefighter, Josh was a family man at heart, committed to teaching his children the benefits of hard work. When the time came for Joseph to create another wine label of his own, he wanted to create a label that served as a tribute to his father’s teachings. Today, Josh Cellars’ wines are designed around the same qualities Joseph’s father championed: bold, well-balanced, and approachable. “The values my dad instilled in me are reflected in every bottle of Josh Cellars that we painstakingly make,” Carr says. “Producing delicious wines takes a lot of hard work, but dad wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The wine label started out as a single-varietal brand.
In 2005, Joseph Carr teamed up with Sonoma winemaker Tom Larson to develop the first Josh Cellars vintage. The two had decided together that wines made under the new label would be much more affordable than other wines coming out of the region, without sacrificing on quality. Carr and Larson together created 1,200 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, which became the winery’s exclusive offering before Carr started making a Chardonnay for his late wife Dee shortly after.
Carr first sold Josh wines out of the back of his truck.
By 2007, the first vintage of Josh Cellars was ready to be sold to the public. However, without a vineyard or any brick and mortar tasting rooms or shops, Carr took to selling the Cabernet out of the back of his truck. The wine was a smash success, prompting Larson and Carr to continue producing wines together. Today, just 15 years later, Josh Cellars has grown from producing just 1,200 cases to selling over 4 million per year.
At Josh Cellars, family is everything.
Beyond serving as a tribute to Joseph’s father, Carr was sure to embed his family in each facet of the wine, even down to its very label. Written in swooping, sloped font, the script on each label of Josh Cellars wines is modeled after Carr’s mother’s handwriting. Furthermore, prior to her passing, Carr’s wife Dee — whom he met on a blind date — assisted in proofing the labels for the bottles as well as assisting with bookkeeping.
Three years later, a bubbly was added to the bunch.
A number of years prior to starting Josh Cellars, Carr had the opportunity to work at a winery in Italy where he fell in love with the land and local wines. In 2019, inspired by his love for Italy, Carr partnered with the Pozzi family to create the wine label’s first sparkling wine — Josh Cellars Prosecco. Today, the bubbly is available in both brut and rosé formats, the former of which even earned a spot on VinePair’s Best Proseccos for 2023 list.
It’s the most popular premium table wine in America.
Since its release in 2007, Josh Cellars has gone on to become one of the top-performing wine brands in the United States. Reporting double-digit growth for the last five years, not only is Josh Cellars the No. 1 premium table wine in America; it’s also the fastest-growing U.S. table wine with a growth rate twice that of Tito’s Vodka. Additionally, of the wines available on the market, Josh Cellars has the highest rate of repeat buys of all leading wine brands.
The brand remains steadfast in its support of local and national communities.
At the core of Josh Cellars is the brand’s commitment to uplifting the communities important to Joseph Carr. As such, since the label’s inception, proceeds from every sale of Josh Cellars wines have been donated to a plethora of charitable causes or organizations supporting veterans, active duty service members, firefighters and first responders, restaurant workers, and more. For example, with each bottle of Josh Cellars Reserve Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon sold, $1 is donated to the National Volunteer Fire Council or other local firefighter philanthropies around the country in support of fire departments and first responders. In addition, Josh Cellars has also partnered in the past with Pups4Patriots — a program seeking to train service dogs for veterans with post traumatic stress — World Central Kitchen, Operation Gratitude, the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, California Fire Foundations, and Trees for Troops. To date, the brand has donated over $1.5 million as a means of honoring Josh Carr’s legacy of military service, volunteering, and giving back.