A fifth-generation winemaker, he grew up in the business, learning everything he could from his father and grandfather, both legends in California’s wine industry. Joel made his debut at a very early age, helping out in the vineyards and cellars as a little boy. It was no surprise when he became apprenticed to Mike Lee, wine master at Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma. Joel’s first solo act as winemaker came in 1996 with an intense Zinfandel from Amador County, a show-stopping wine that garnered Joel Gott Wines critical acclaim. In 2003, Joel formed the Three Thieves with fellow wine lovers, Roger Scommegna and Charles Bieler. The trio launched Bandit wines and The Show, amongst other side projects. Joel is also exploring new frontiers with winemaker Dave Phinney, and together the duo co-produces Shatter, a French Grenache. Food is also on the bill for Joel—he and his brother revamped Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, a legendary St. Helena burger joint, and rechristened it Gott’s Roadside. Today, it’s a destination restaurant with three popular locations.