Friederich “Fritz” Rosenbaum: Jewish Creator of the Johannaberg Wine Cellars of St. Helena, California


"Fritz" Rosenbaum

“Fritz” Rosenbaum

Friederich “Fritz” Rosenbaum

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Friederich “Fritz” Rosenbaum was born in Westfalen, Germany, in 1833.


Along the way

Primarily,  Fritz Rosenbaum was a resident of San Francisco working as a glass importer.


St. Helena

In 1878,  he and his wife, Johanna, built a modern Gothic-Victorian style home on a knoll north of St. Helena in the Napa Valley.


Johannaberg House, Napa, California

Johannaberg House, Napa, California

Fritz Rosenbaum’s intention was to build a grand house for his family with a properly equipped wine cellar so that he could make wines again as he had “in the old country”.

The first wines were vinted in the stone cellars beneath the house, and Johannaberg Cellars became one of the earliest bonded wineries in the Napa Valley.

The house still stands at 2867 St. Helena Highway on the grounds of St. Clement Vineyards.


Fritz and Johanna Rosenbaum had six children: Johanna, Fred, Bertie, Marianne and Emma.


Rosenbaum Label

Rosenbaum Label


The Rosenbaum family is buried in the St. Helena cemetery.


For more information, see:

Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley, by Lin Weber, ISBN 0-9667014-4-5, 2003

Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage, by Henry Michalski and Donna Mendelsohn, ISBN 978-0-7385-8898-8 Arcadia Publishers

Both books are available thru the Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley,



Fritz Rosenbaum portrait

Johannaberg Home, now St. Clement Vineyards. Daughter, “Bertie” is on horseback.

Rosenbaum Wine Label


Click on photos to enlarge them.

Lauren Chevlen is curator of this Fritz Rosenbaum Family Exhibit.