The Napa Valley Wine Library Association was founded in 1963 by a group of talented, energetic individuals dedicated to putting their commitment to wine education and information to work.
St. Helenans (and the UC Davis libraries) donated books and materials to form the core of the collection, housed in the local public library (then the Carnegie Building) pursuant to plans of architect Les Niemi.
The association launched its activities with a “members only” wine tasting in the local Chevrolet showroom. The hospitality of Connie Price Skillings at her beautiful Victorian gardens of “Spottswoode” made successive early annual tastings a draw for new members.
Professor Maynard Amerine and master printer Jim Beard created the first wine appreciation course. Nancy Haven, MFK Fisher, Paco and Romie Gould, Andre Tchelistcheff, Ina Hart, Barney Rhodes, Helen Niemi, Dick Peterson, Louis Martini, Tom May and Hans Kornell developed the content and served as early instructors.
Barney Rhodes was the association's first president; Gunther Detert its second.
The association has met its mission over the years with the development of the collection, the annual tasting, an evolving program of wine education, and (in 1983) the launch of its seasonal REPORT.
With affection and gratitude, the association salutes its founders and early friends.