Jerome Draper Wine Merchant

Draper Family History in the Wine Business

The Draper family has been involved in the wine industry since 1942 when Jerome Draper Sr and and his wife Virginia Draper purchased what became Draper Vineyards high up on Spring Mountain overlooking St. Helena in the Napa Valley. 

After serving in the Navy in World War II Jerome Draper Jr became involved in Draper Vineyards along with his parents.  This was the seed that started Jerome Jr's journey into the wine business.  Within a short period of time Jerome Jr was the go to person who could find great wines for his friends.

Jerome Sr and Virginia farmed 135 acres of grapes until the mid 1980s when Jerome Draper Jr and his wife Norma Draper took over running the vineyards.  

By 1969 Jerome Jr had started Drapier Wine Merchant which later became the fabled wine store in San Francisco called Draper & Esquin.

It was about this time that his son, Jerome, III, started working at Draper and Esquin which was housed on the first floor and in the basement of the Vintners Building on Sutter Street in San Francisco.

What followed was a succession of wine related businesses started by Jerome Jr which included Wine Imports Limited with offices in London and Paris, Wine Distributors serving both Southern and Northern California, and the private label Chestnut Hill which bottled wines Jerome Jr sourced as a negotiant in and around Napa and Sonoma in California.

Along with his longtime friend and business partner W. Reed Foster, Jerome Jr founded the Vintners Club which held regular tastings on the second floor of the Vintners Building every Thursday at 4:30 PM for fourteen years from 1973 to 1987.

Reed, Jerome Jr, and winemaker Joel Peterson then founded Ravenswood Winery which became well-known as a producer of some of the finest Zinfandel wines ever made.

Today Jerome Jr continues his love for the wine business with his wine store in San Anselmo California. The store is well-known for its fine selection of quality wines at very reasonable prices. Jerome Jr and his son Jerome III taste wines almost every night only selecting wines that meet their high standard of approval for the store.

Not a day goes by when one of the Drapers isn't doing something around wine whether its buying, selling, tasting, or just enjoying a glass.