Beringer Vineyards is one of the oldest wine estates in California, having been founded in 1876 by German immigrant brothers, Jacob and Frederick Beringer. The brothers wanted to create a wine estate like the kind they admired in the Rhine Valley, and the Victorian mansion they built on their new property remains one of the most picturesque mansions in the Napa Valley. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historical Landmark. 1971 the Jacobs family sold the estate to the Nestle food group, and in 1996 the estate was purchased by Foster’s Group, an Australian conglomerate specializing in beer and soft drinks. In 2011 Foster's spun off the winemaking division, which is today called Treasury Wine Estates. Beringer owns 3,000 acres in Napa Valley and nearby areas, and produces nearly 500,000 cases annually. Beringer’s signatures wines are its Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays. For many years the highly regarded Ed Sbragia was Beringer’s winemaker. The chief winemaker is Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of Jacob Beringer.
North Coast AVA includes California’s most prestigious sub-appellations and vineyards. The three million acre area includes vineyards in six counties north of San Francisco and nearly 50 sub-appellations. The Napa Valley and Sonoma County AVAs are just two of the renowned sub-appellations included in the North Coast designation, which also includes the AVAs Diamond Mountain District, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Stag’s Leap and Rutherford, which are all among the most acclaimed wine producing districts in California. The North Coast AVA designation is generally used for wines made by blending grapes grown in several counties or AVAs. The appellation includes part of the counties of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Marin, Solano and Lake.
Zinfandel is a black-skinned grape, but 85% of the wine produced is made into a rosy “White Zinfandel.” Red Zin is far more complex and bold, while still being light-bodied. It grows in popularity as winemakers continue to experiment with new styles and blends.