Beringer Vineyards, Napa Valley, California, USA
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Beringer’s Vineyards Set Comments:
History of Beringer’s Vineyards
In 1868, Jacob Beringer left his home in Mainz, Germany, to start a new life in America. His brother, Frederick, had settled in New York five years prior, but New York life did not appeal to Jacob. Unlike his brother, Jacob enjoyed toiling in the cellars in his youth in Germany. He had heard that the warm sunny climate of California was ideal for growing wine grapes, so in 1870 he traveled by train to San Francisco, then to Napa Valley. To his delight he discovered rocky, well-drained soils similar to those in the Rhine River Valley. Best of all, he found the hills could be dug out to provide storage and aging tunnels that would maintain the constant temperature needed to produce fine wines. Jacob bought land with Frederick in 1875 and settled into producing wines comparable to the premium wines he had developed in Europe. In 1876, they founded Beringer Winery.
The tedious task of hand-chiseling the rock tunnels was completed by Chinese workers. The tunnels took several years to complete but rewarded the brothers with an extremely effective storing and aging facility that maintains a mean temperature of 58 degrees F. Today, Beringer Vineyards continues to age fine wines, including its Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, in the tunnels they built.
While the winery was being built, Jacob took up residence in a farmhouse on the property built in 1848, now referred to as the “Hudson House.” Meticulously restored and expanded, the Hudson House servers today as Beringer Vineyards’ Culinary Arts Center.
In 1883, Frederick began construction of the 17 room mansion which was to be his home—a re-creation of the family house on the Rhine River in Germany. Frederick’s “Rhine House”, is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rhine House is constructed of redwood framing, basalt rocks, Pennsylvania slate tiled roof, decorative hardwoods, and a collection of 40 panels of original stained glass – all for the total cost of $28,000.
Beringer Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating winery, producing wines which continue to reflect a single-minded dedication to the making of memorable wines.
Carriage House: Even though this building looks historic, it was built in 2001, as
the Tour and Visitors Center. Thousands of guests pass each year
through here to take steps back in history.
Old Stone Cellars and Caves: Recognizable for its third floor cupola, the Old Winery was started in 1876 and operational for the harvest of 1877. Guided tours of the caves are offered daily.
Rhine House: Completed in 1884 by architect Albert Schroepfer, Frederick Beringer’s residence has beautiful exterior stonework, stained glass windows and interior wood paneling—all exhibiting exceptional artistry and craftsmanship.
The Leaning Oak is well over 200 years old and stunning, this valley oak is a touchstone for the natural beauty of the site. In honor of the tree, Beringer’s introduced an exclusive line of wines called “Leaning Oak.”
Hudson House: The original structure on the property, built around 1850, served as Jacob Beringer’s home. Today the house serves as the Culinary Arts Center.