Owner Ray and Nancy Coursen run the winery along with their children Jake and Elyse (for which the winery was named). In 1987, Elyse Winery was started with 286 cases of Zinfandel from the Morisoli Vineyard, which is still one of their primary fruit sources. For a decade the Coursens were considered nomads, buying grapes and crushing at various custom crush facilities, until 1997, when they purchased a small winery on Hoffman Lane.
The winery feels like you are stepping into a private residence and has a nice, warm family feel to it. Dogs Otis and Bubba and cat Moe act as the winery's welcome wagon and will send you on your way as well. Their flagship wines are their Napa Valley Morisoli Vineyard Cab Sauvignon and their Napa Valley Korte Ranch Zinfandel.
Ray Coursen works with a number of talented grape growers and sources his grapes from key sites throughout the valley, including the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford and Korte Vineyard in St. Helena. In 1998, the Coursens, looking to include their son Jake in the process, developed a second label called Jacob Franklin. These wines are primarily limited quantity bottlings sourced from low-yielding vineyard plots. They usually sell out fast and can only be found at the winery itself.