' Beringer - A Walk Through Time
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A Walk Through Time

Beringer is built on heritage

1800s

1869

Jacob Beringer arrives in California and becomes Cellar Foreman for Charles Krug, one of the first commercial winemakers in Napa Valley. Krug's business was right next to the property that would become Beringer winery.

Learn why Napa Valley is a unique appellation
Jacob Beringer

1875

Jacob and his brother Frederick purchase 215 acres in St. Helena for $14,500. This parcel of land, known first as Los Hermanos (The Brothers), will become the heart of the Beringer estate.

Learn about Los Hermanos wines
Beringer Brothers

1876

The Beringer Brothers oversee their first harvest and their first crush. With Jacob serving as Winemaker and Frederick as financier, the brothers made approximately 40,000 gallons of wine, or 18,000 cases that first year.

First Crush

1877

The first two floors of Old Stone Winery are completed, and Chinese workers begin digging 1,200 linear feet of tunnel where the wine will be aged and stored.

Read about the Beringer wine tunnels
the tunnel

1883

To make room for what is now known as the Rhine House, Frederick Beringer has Jacob's residence, Hudson House, moved, literally, using horses and logs to transfer it 200 feet north.

Read more about the historic homes
Rhine House is built

1885

The brothers plant the Elm trees that now form a verdant tunnel along Main Street, which runs in front of the winery in St. Helena.

Visit Beringer
planting of the elms

1887

Beringer wines win their first awards at the Mechanics Institute Exposition in San Francisco, just the first of many accolades over the years.

See Beringer's awards and accolades
Beringer wins awards

1900s

1901

Frederick Beringer passes away, leaving Jacob Beringer sole proprietor of the Beringer winery.

Jacob Beringer

1915

Jacob Beringer passes away, and the winery comes under the care of Charles and Bertha Beringer, two of Jacob's children.

Bertha Beringer

1920 – 1933:

The winery continues to operate through Prohibition under a federal license that allows wine to be made for religious purposes, so Beringer could sell sacramental wine to churches.

Beringer during Prohibition

1934

Prohibition is repealed and Beringer becomes the first winery to offer public tours, sparking wine tourism in Napa Valley.

Read about the various tours offered at Beringer
wine tourism in Napa Valley

1939

During the Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco, Winemaker Fred Abruzzini distributes flyers and maps showing "the main highways to Beringer Bros. Winery and other interesting points...," further establishing Napa Valley as a tourist destination.

the main highways to Beringer Bros. Winery and other interesting points

1940

Hollywood stars, like Carole Lombard and Clark Gable, visit the winery, and Beringer sells 40,000 cases of wine a year throughout the decade, which was a respectable figure for the time.

Hollywood stars at Beringer

1967

The 91-year-old Beringer Winery is named a State Historical Landmark.

Learn more about the historic property
Beringer Winery is named a State Historical Landmark

1971

Myron Nightingale joins Beringer as just the fifth winemaker in the winery's nearly 100-year history. He developed a special French Sauterne–style wine called, aptly, Nightingale, which is still made and bottled at the winery today.

Learn more about Nightingale dessert wine
Myron Nightingale

1972

The Rhine House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Host a private event at the Rhine House
The Rhine House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

1976

Ed Sbragia joins Beringer as Myron Nightingale's assistant. Together they launch the Private Reserve designation using specifically selected Cabernet and Chardonnay grapes.

Learn more about Beringer Private Reserve wines
Ed Sbragia joins Beringer

1977

Beringer begins fermenting Chardonnay and Cabernet in French oak barrels.

Cabernet in French oak barrels

1979

Bob Steinhauer becomes vineyard manager, and he and Ed begin what will become a legendary partnership. "Bob always says he gives me diamonds," Ed says, "and it's up to me to polish them."

Read about the winemaking process
Bob Steinhauer becomes vineyard manager

1984

Ed Sbragia is promoted to Winemaker, becoming only the sixth person to hold the position in Beringer's history.

Ed Sbragia - Winemaker

1988

Beringer commissions a fountain celebrating the first grapes planted in Napa Valley 150 years earlier. Sculpted by Ruth Asawa, it stands in the courtyard behind the Rhine House.

Learn about the history of Napa Valley
Fountain by Ruth Asawa

1989

Beringer becomes the first winery to develop a formal research and sensory evaluation program. Today, more than 250 employees participate in research and sensory trials.

Wine research and sensory evaluation program

1990

Wine Spectator names the Beringer 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon #1 Wine of the Year.

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon #1 Wine of the Year

1996

Wine Spectator names the Beringer 1994 Chardonnay #1 Wine of the Year. Not only is it the first time a white wine has garnered this coveted award, but Beringer now has the distinction of being the first and only winery to have both a white and a red wine named #1 Wine of the Year.

Chardonnay #1 Wine of the Year

2000s

2000

Beringer pledges a gift of $1,000,000 to COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa.

$1,000,000 gift to COPIA

2000

Laurie Hook is promoted to Winemaker of Beringer Vineyards. Ed Sbragia stays on as Winemaster Emeritus.

Laurie Hook

2001

Beringer's 125th anniversary, making it the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley.

Beringer's 125th anniversary

2004

Maximus, the world's largest bottle of wine, is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. The bottle, which contained 173 bottles of Beringer 2001 Private Reserve Cabernet, sold for $47,500 at a charity auction.


2012

Beringer expands into Central Coast; Wine Spectator names the Beringer 2009 Knights Valley Reserve #8 Wine of the Year

Beringer expands to Knights Valley
 
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