I love Beringer Winery and Wines. Taking visitors there to tour the grounds, caves, cellars and then the various wine tasting rooms is a blast. As we walk through the grounds and learn the history of this grand old establishment, we witness our visitors’ opinions transform from interest to awe in just a few hours.
Why do I love this place? Unless you’re from the wine world, when you think of Beringer Winery the first thing that pops into most minds is their White Zinfandel. Then many think of inexpensive grocery store wines. Beringer is so much more with a heritage that would give anyone an appreciation in regards to their part in the history of wine in the U.S. and Napa Valley.
Beringer Winery and Wines
It all started in 1868 when Jacob Beringer was attracted by the opportunities offered by the new world. After making the move to the US, in a short time, Jacob and his brother Frederick made their way to the Napa Valley. By 1875, the two brothers purchased 215 acres of land becoming the first winery in Napa Valley. It was a small inauspicious moment, but a huge marker in time for Napa Valley and both are now a recognized symbol of the wine industry the world over.
As you stroll through the caves, grounds, and historic houses you learn about the Chinese workers who dug out the existing caves and tunnels. It’s a place where the wine was, and is, still being aged and stored at the optimum temperature of 58 to 60° F. You will learn how the brothers were able to use a system of gravity, a time honored tradition from their native country and the Rhine Valley. They used this method to move the wine juice from the caves to production. You learn about the history of the two very different but magnificent homes that still exist today. In fact, the entire estate has been designated a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places in the U.S. And to think, all this before you even taste the wine in one of three tasting rooms.
I could share so much more, but I hope this will entice you to visit this amazing place. Prepare to spend a day to soak in all it has to offer. It’s well worth the time, I promise.
Beringer Winery and Wines have many wine varietals from reasonably priced wines to their stunning private reserves. The one I enjoy a great deal is the Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley.
This is what the winemaker has to say about their Beringer Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley:
“To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, Chief Winemaker Laurie Hook monitored each of the lots carefully through vinification and aging. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in small French Nevers oak barrels (25% new) for thirteen months and underwent malolactic fermentation for further development of texture and mouthfeel. Laurie blended in a portion of Merlot to add texture and plush tannins, and a touch of Cabernet Franc for length in the finish.”
Beringer Winery and their wines can be found on their website, wine.com, totalwine.com, bevmo.com or many wine stores, markets, and wine purveyors. Just ask.
As you’ve probably guessed, Beringer Winery is a place I do enjoy visiting, not only for the wine but the history and the experience of it all. As I wander through the estate, I can feel the history, it’s a wonderful step back in time. It’s located in the heart of Napa Valley just north of St. Helena making it a place to stay awhile and enjoy the beauty of the area and all the sights that surround it.
Time for a glass…
P.S.: Check out a few of my favorite wine tools and resources below. 🙂