In 1876, Jacob and Frederick Beringer founded Beringer Vineyards in the modern-day St Helena AVA. This was the result of their realization that the soils in St Helena were very similar to those in the vineyards of their home- the Rhine Valley. The Beringer Brothers financed the incredibly difficult task of carving caves in the hills behind their winery.
This was completed by Chinese workers who had previously worked on the transcontinental railroad. These caves provided a perfect place to age their wines. Incredibly, they are still in use today.
The winery currently makes many wines with grapes sourced from different regions. Beringer is the oldest winery that has been continuously operated in the Napa Valley.
The Beringer 1999 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the winery’s flagship wine. The finest fruit from vineyards in several Napa Valley AVAs are separately aged in French oak and subsequently blended together. A touch of Cabernet Franc adds another dimension to this extremely complex wine.
For fans of big Chardonnays, the Beringer 2002 Private Reserve Chardonnay will be a delight. There is a lot going on in this wine. Spicy fruit flavors dominate the palate and linger through the finish. It has received 90+ ratings from well-known critics and publications.
In addition to their Napa Valley production, they make some interesting wines from the Knights Valley AVA that I find appealing. The Beringer 2000 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a tasty wine with strong flavors and aromas. You can sense the heat of the AVA through this forward wine.
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Chardonnay are the major white varietals grown in Beringer’s Knights Valley property. The Beringer 2002 Knights Valley Alluvium Blanc is a balanced, white blend in a style reminiscent of Bordeaux. The flavors and aromas of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay and Viognier mingle exceptionally well in this wine.