About Us

John Robert Cellars is an independent urban winery in the Philadelphia region that seeks to connect nature with the city and introduce customers to the joys of drinking superb wines made right here in their neighborhood. Deriving our name from our two founding owners, John Irving and Robert Goodwin, John Robert Cellars is the culmination of their decades-long friendship and shared passion for making excellent wines.

John Irving and Robert Goodwin
John Irving and Robert Goodwin standing behind the counter of their urban winery enjoying a glass of their own wine!

Beginning twenty-five years ago with Robert’s initial ventures into winemaking as a self-taught amateur, he quickly realized his life’s true calling. As he honed his winemaking skillset, he was encouraged by family and friends to enter his delicious wines into a competitive environment. Robert submitted his wines to various international winemaking competitions- and won!

Deciding to take his winemaking more seriously, Robert pursued a formal education in Enology in 2010, completing programs at both the University of California Davis and Missouri State University. What initially began as a creative endeavor was now supported by Robert’s acquired knowledge of the science behind fine winemaking. To this day, he upholds the concept that a good wine is the intersection of artistry and science.

Enhanced by John’s sommelier studies at the Wine School of Philadelphia, John and Robert continued to produce beautiful wines for the next ten years. In 2017, they decided to take the next step and really commit to their life’s passion, moving into our Essington building to provide enough cellar space to have a professional winery.

John Robert Cellars is truly a “labor of love” that expresses our core values: great friends and great wine. We believe that creating a great wine is likened to maintaining a lifelong friendship; it requires time, effort, and lots of patience. Luckily, John and Robert have become experts in both the arts of winemaking and friendship. We hope you can stop by soon to drink great wine with your great friends!

What Is An Urban Winery?

We bring nature to the city by sourcing the best grapes from around the world. Not limited by our agricultural circumstances, we produce top-quality wines made from the world’s finest wine regions including California, Chile, and South Africa. The grapes arrive to us whole-cluster and incredibly fresh, which we then transform into beautiful wines right here at our winery in Essington.

We uphold all the fundamental aspects of the winemaking process: de-stemming, crushing, maceration, fermentation, pressing, oak aging, blending, bottling, and labeling. Our customers can experience old world style winemaking right here in the middle of a modern city.

We believe that wine is a living thing, and we treat it with the utmost reverence and respect. In our tasting room, you can experience the liveliness of our wines and the motions of its transformation, as the wine cellar is directly attached. You can see, hear, smell, (and of course- taste) the daily labor that goes into creating a beautiful wine.

We are proud to be a place of both creation and communion, where wine can be admired in its myriad of complexities. We invite you to bring your friends and family to our tasting room to enjoy our wines, to learn a bit about our winemaking process, and to make new favorite memories over a shared bottle.