Saturday, April 18, 2015

Schramsberg Vineyards Celebrates 50th Anniversary



Hugh Davies of Schramsberg Vineyards:

"In 1965 my parents would revive the old Schramsberg property, make their first vintage of Blanc de Blanc in our sparkling program. This is where our story began anew. You think of some of the other key moments in our history — 1972 Richard Nixon goes to China as the first American -resident to ever do so. As Barbara Walters would have explained on the Today Show the next morning, that a little known sparkling wine from California, "The Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc was served," — that helped get the word out there a little bit! We've been fortunate to have the wine served by many presidents essentially ever since at different occasions.

"We moved through the 1970s with our industry slowly evolving, and by that point a number of French producers had actually come to California. They were doing something similar to what we were doing. Schramsberg became a little bit more crowded through the 1980s when the first vintage of J. Schram was made in 1987. This was a key benchmark date for us as the first Tête de Cuvée in California. This singular, special, ultimate expression from a particular house was made.

"We evolved further to start replanting the home property of Schramsberg in 1994 with the idea of making a delicious Cabernet. We realized that our sparkling fruit from the cooler areas had done even better than what we were able to do closer to home. The J. Davies Cabernet, named after my dad Jack, was released in 2004 — another key date for us. And here we are now on the cusp of our 50th anniversary feeling as if business has never been better.

"As we look toward the future now, the good news is that we've got some kids, and they have some cousins, so we are doing our best to bring those guys up so that the winery will be in good hands in 30, 40 or even 50 years from now. We have a facility in Saint Helena that has been renovated into a state-of-the-art red winemaking facility to help us carry on with the family business and to build a nice platform for the next generation to continue on with. We appreciate all of the fans that helped us along the way. It has been a great run."

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