You arrive in America from Germany is 1868 and take the train to California from New York in 1870, where you believe the soil is perfect for growing grapes and the land is able to be caved for wine storage. This is the story of Jacob Beringer. Jacob bought land with his brother Frederick in 1875 and started the Beringer Winery in 1876.
The property has original structures as the Hudson House, 1850, where Jacob lived and now serves as the Culinary Arts Center. Frederick had the Rhine House built in 1884 and was temporarily closed for revitalization. It has been used as a wine tasting home at the front of the property on Hwy 29. The Old Stone Cellars & Caves was started in 1876 and completed in 1877. The Old Bottling Room is the location of the original bottling line and now serves as the gift shop with wine tasting and sales. Old Winery was built after prohibition in the 1930's and one of the redwood tanks remains on display for reserve wine tasting and sales. The Carriage House looks old but was built in 2001 as the Tour and Visitors Center. Last but not least the Leaning Oak which is over 200 years old and is the touchstone for the natural beauty of the site. Beringer honors the tree with a line of wines called "Leaning Oak". Tastings cost start at $20.00. Beringer Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley and now has Laurie Hook, winemaker, welcoming you to Beringer Winery and is dedicated to the tradition of making memorable wines.
While at the winery, I enjoyed conversing with one of the employees, Kevin, who was very informative of the winery's history and the details of the wines. He poured several wines that had me get out the cash and become part of history as a patron of Jacob and Frederick's favorite past time, making wine and offering it for sale so those like I can enjoy the fruit of the vine at Beringer Vineyard that has been such a large part of the history of the Napa Valley.
We spent a rainy day touring Beringer's winery. The history was very interesting. If you like old houses, beautiful scenary, and wine then this place is worth the visit. I believe we paid around $10 a person and kids were free with a paying adult. Don't forget to visit the Hudson house as well-I love old houses and the grounds.
...for the pleasure of your palate...
Please read my tip only if you are older than 21 years old...
For my wine tasting I choose the Chateau Beringer which use to be owned by a Swiss company named Nestlé, now more reconverted in spring water and coffee business...
The Beringer winery was founded by a German immigrant in 1876, when he discovered that Napa Valley had a rocky, well-drained soils similar to those in his native Rhine Valley.
Druing the tour, you will learn more about the specificities of California vineyards with its exceptional local micro-climate. At the end you could taste the result of hard labour made from the vine grower, oenologist and vinemaker. A great satisfaction in prospect...
Some California Appellation available:
Zinfandel: a new discovery for me
Cabernet Sauvignon: my favourite Beringer
Nowadays I am still able to taste their products in Switzerland as I met the Swiss importer during a wine tasting fair in Arvinis Morges.
To drink with moderation...
The grounds and winery are open for wine tasting tours. This winery was established in 1868 and is the oldest operating winery in Napa Valley. The old wine cellar caves were hand dug by Chinese laborers in the 1800's. There is a fee for the tour and wine tasting.
In 1883, Frederick Beringer began construction on his 17-room mansion, which was to be his new home when he moved from New York to join his brother on the West Coast. It was a re-creation of the family home on the Rhine River in Germany and is now on the National Register of historic Places (it also serves as Beringer’s hospitality center).
Beringer Vineyards, the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley, produces a wide selection of premium wines. Beringer has emerged as a name synonymous with quality and excellence (it's highly acclaimed wines include White Zinfandel, Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots).
Beringer Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley. Jacob Beringer's foresight in recognizing the quality and potential of grape growing in the Napa Valley is part of the living heritage of Beringer Vineyards. With the present use of the state-of-the-art technology applied to age-old traditions, Beringer Vineyards' wines continue to reflect a single-minded dedication to the making of memorable wines from great Napa Valley vineyards.