Inspired by four generations of family leadership, Concannon Vineyard’s contributions to winemaking have positioned it as a landmark winery with an enduring commitment to creating outstanding, award-winning wine.

Now, with a vision of introducing the independent spirit of the Concannon family to a wider audience, John Concannon (4th Generation) has released Concannon Irish Whiskey – a little stronger than wine but with just as much character and commitment to quality as his Great-Grandfather, Ireland-born James Concannon.


Founder: James Concannon

Born in the Aran Islands off the Coast of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, James left his homeland at age 18. In 1865, James traveled from Ireland to fulfill his destiny of creating world-class Bordeaux and Rhône-style wines in America. In 1874, James, his wife Ellen, and the first of their ten children, traveled from Maine across the plains to Oregon, and then to San Francisco. James was eager to pursue new ventures in California, where he discovered the Livermore Valley. Always a quick study, James consulted the wine experts of the time at the University of California, Berkeley to learn everything he could about viticulture and enology. After just a few years of self-guided, intensive scholarship, James Concannon became the first Irish immigrant to establish a successful winery in America.

2nd Generation: “Captain” Joe Concannon

James’ son Joseph guided the winery through Prohibition, making sacramental altar wines for the Archbishop of San Francisco. Joseph was affectionately known as Captain Joe due to his service in the First Cavalry under General John Pershing and Lieutenant George Patton. When Captain Joe completed his military service, he decided to come home, start a family and take over the winery. Under Captain Joe’s watch, Concannon hired the first professional female winemaker, replaced original vines that were lost to phylloxera and increased the acreage of the Concannon estate.

3rd Generation: James “Jim” Concannon

By the 1960s, Grandson Joe oversaw the vineyards and Grandson Jim headed up the winemaking. Jim introduced the first varietally-named Petite Sirah with a 1961 vintage, released in 1964. When Grandson Joe passed away unexpectedly, Jim took the helm, assuming all responsibilities for the winery. When the winery was sold to shore up finances, Jim remained on as winemaker and passionately represented the winery to both the trade and public. To this day Jim, affectionately known as Mr. C, remains active promoting Concannon and the Livermore Valley. In 2007 Jim was awarded a California Lifetime Achievement Award for his advocacy of California Petite Sirah and his tireless efforts to protect Livermore Valley’s viticultural heritage.
Jim’s Bio

4th Generation: John Concannon

Working closely with his father Jim, John relies on his extensive business background to help shape Concannon’s commitment to preservation, growth and innovation. John was born and raised on the property and worked in every aspect of the winery, from the vineyards to the bottling line to the tasting room, before he even left for college. Most importantly, John’s parents instilled within him the Concannon family values of integrity, excellence, and respect for the land, all required within the Concannon name which, translated from ancient Gaelic, means “Wisdom Without Compromise.”

John is honored to release Concannon Irish Whiskey, a special tribute to his Great-Grandfather, James Concannon, in admiration for his adventurous spirit, vision and ambitious endeavors.
John’s Bio