Beringer Vineyards: Tour the History, Taste the Awards
The beauty of Beringer Vineyards is evident in the wines and fully realized when one visits its historic grounds in the Napa Valley. Beringer is the region’s oldest continuously operating winery, with a winemaking tradition dating back 130 years. It was first to offer public tours and remains at the top of the savvy Napa Valley visitor’s list of places to tour and taste.
The winery’s magnificent grounds are the first indication that one is in for a special treat. The entire property was designated a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Several intriguing buildings populate the grounds. The most stunning is the Rhine House, which has sparkled with original Belgian art nouveau glass and carved woodwork since it was built as Frederick Beringer’s 17-room residence in 1884. Today the entire property is a fascinating place to investigate and learn more about Beringer wines.
And there is much to learn. Beringer is the only estate to ever win Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” for both a red and white wine, an honor bestowed on Master Emeritus Winemaker Ed Sbragia. Today, Winemaker Laurie Hook works to uphold the singular heritage of Beringer Vineyards.
Laurie’s goal is to maintain the winery’s age-old traditions. She resources the grapes from more than one dozen top vineyards located in all corners of the Napa Valley. Her efforts are continually rewarded with medals, ribbons, and accolades. One recent case in point is the 2009 Marston Cabernet Sauvignon awarded 90 points by The Wine Advocate with these glowing words: “This is one of the bigger, more powerful 2009s at Beringer. The balance of fruit, acidity and structure is terrific.”
The estate hosts several tasting experiences including private sit-down tastings with cheese plates; Cabernet Sauvignon evaluation seminars; and regular and reserve tastings in many unique spots like the Old Winery, the wrap-around porch of the Rhine House, and inside, at the mansion’s ornate reserve tasting bar. For those eager to experience the legacy of the Napa Valley, Beringer Vineyards is the place to visit.