Turley Wine Cellars was established in the Napa Valley in 1993 by Larry Turley. Turley, a founder of Frog's Leap Winery in Rutherford, wanted a smaller, more intimate production size, and wanted to work with old vines. He sold his shares in Frog's Leap to begin his own winery with the help of his sister Helen Turley, a notable Californian wine consultant and winemaker. Helen acted as winemaker until 1995 when she went back to consulting and Ehren Jordan took over.
The estate makes around 30 wines from 35 different vineyards, split roughly in half between estate-owned land and long-term leases. The focus has been on reviving old vines. Some of the vineyards are more than 100 years old, including the Hayne and Ueberroth vineyards, planted in 1902 and 1885 respectively. The predominant grape here is Zinfandel, but Petite Sirah features heavily as well. Turley's style embraces the full-bodied, robust, and fruit-dominant potential of Zinfandel when grown in Californian heat. The approach has been to bring the fruit to full physiological ripeness which can lead to high alcohol levels – in hot years some of Turley's wines have been as high as 18 percent alcohol.