A Taste of History in Napa Valley
Published On: August 10, 2021

Three Historic Wineries – One Amazing Experience

Spend a day like no other in Napa Valley’s Historic Wine Country. For anyone who loves Napa Valley wines and the region’s rich history, they will not want to miss one of its truly exceptional tasting experiences. Discover three of Napa Valley’s original and most renowned wineries by learning their stories, which parallel the American experience, while tasting a diverse showcase of wines, exhibiting the multiplicity of Napa Valley’s unique terroir.

Appropriately, the day’s adventure begins at Charles Krug Winery, where the Napa Valley wine story originated. The winery is regaled as Napa’s first, founded in 1861 by Krug, a Prussian immigrant, and set the stage for Napa’s future. Opening for tastings in 1862, this was Napa’s original tasting room. In 1943 the winery was purchased by another immigrant family, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, from Italy. Firmly establishing themselves in the Valley as trend-setters, the Mondavis have been leaders in California’s modern-day family-owned wine industry ever since, recently welcoming their fifth generation. This unique tasting exploration begins with a celebratory glass of Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine, followed by a limited release of Chardonnay and Malbec. The historical winery visit concludes with Napa’s King of Grapes, a 2016 Signature Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon. //

The next stop is Beringer Vineyards. German immigrant brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer purchased the property next to Krug winery in 1875, establishing the winery with their initial vintage in 1876. Before buying the property, Jacob Beringer was cellar foreman for the Krug winery. Beringer has the distinction of being the longest continuously operating winery in the Valley and being the only winery to have received Wine Spectator’s #1 wine of the year award for both a red (1986 Cabernet Sauvignon) and a white (1994 Chardonnay) wine. Sip and enjoy Beringer’s small-production Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, plus their distinctive Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Following the tasting, pick a wine to accompany a gourmet picnic lunch prepared in-house by the Beringer Culinary Team. Wine, history, and food an unbeatable blend. //

Conclude the day at Markham Vineyards, founded in 1874 by French explorer Jean Laurent, a Bordeaux native. Coming to America to join the California Gold Rush, Laurent recognized land similar to that of his native Bordeaux, purchased land, starting Napa’s fourth-longest continuously operating winery. Bruce Markham, an Arizona businessman, bought the winery in 1977 and in 1980, released its first vintage of Merlot, only the fourth to do so, becoming one of the Valley’s early pioneers growing this variety. The effort drew much acclaim; In 1992, Wine Spectator designated Markham’s 1990 vintage “Merlot of the Year,” and in 1997, winemaker Bryan Del Bondio appeared on Wine Spectator’s cover. The Markham tasting includes the Frenchman’s White Blend (in honor of Laurent), a Rosé of Pinot Noir, an Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and of course, Markham’s benchmark Estate Merlot. //


Story By: Don Sonderling // Photo By: Dawn Heumann


All inclusive Tasting Experience $140 per person.