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


"Fritz" Rosenbaum

“Fritz” Rosenbaum, portrait

Friederich “Fritz” Rosenbaum

Values Codes I – E – L


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


Along the way

Fritz Rosenbaum was primarily a resident of San Francisco, where he worked as a glass importer.


St. Helena

In 1878, Fritz Rosenbaum 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, CA, now St. Clement Vineyards; daughter “Bertie” is on horseback

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 in the Johannaberg Cellars, which 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.

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

Rosenbaum Label

Fr. H. Rosenbaum, label


  • Lin Weber, Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley (Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley, 2003).
  • Henry Michalski and Donna Mendelsohn, Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2012).
  • Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley,

Lauren Chevlen is curator of this Friederich Rosenbaum exhibit.