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.
Howell Mountain AVA in Northeastern Napa Valley was the first of Napa Valley’s sub-appellations, earning its own designation in 1984, just a year after Napa Valley became an appellation. As the name suggests, the AVA is in one of the highest elevations in the area. Every vineyard in the appellation is at least 1,400 feet above sea level. Some vineyards are as high as 2,200 feet and because of their altitude most of the AVA’s vineyards receive more sun than vineyards at lower elevations, which are affected by fog from the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay. Howell Mountain was home to vineyards in the late 19th century, but winemaker Randy Dunn is considered the area’s most influential modern pioneer. Dunn moved to Howell Mountain in 1979, acquired property and began making exceptionally rich Cabernet Sauvignon. The AVA also grows Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. There are 600 vineyard acres within Howell Mountain AVA.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.