NAPA, Calif., Dec. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Beaulieu Vineyard, the longest continually operating winery in Napa Valley, celebrated its 110th anniversary this year. As 2010 comes to a close we can reflect on a series of milestones that show BV's legacy of bold vision and innovation that live on today and into the future.
Founded in 1900 by visionary French immigrant Georges de Latour and his wife Fernande, the winery takes its name from Fernande's first words upon seeing the breathtaking expanse of the Napa Valley near Rutherford, where the winery is now located: Beau Lieu! or "beautiful place". Latour recognized the exceptional winemaking promise of his Rutherford estate, and he was dedicated to the research and innovation that would bring about its finest expression.
1936 marked the first vintage of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted by the iconic Andre Tchelistcheff who joined the winery in 1938. Then a research enologist at France's Pasteur Institute, he was later considered by many to be the father of winemaking in the New World. When he arrived at Beaulieu Vineyard, he began tasting wine from each parcel of the Rutherford estate and set about experimenting with the kind of rigorous small-lot fermentation that continues to this day. Among his many other innovations were building a cold room to ferment white wines and establishing malolactic fermentation as standard practice when making red wines. His highly trained palate led him to identify the superior Rutherford fruit quality with the distinctive characteristic he coined "Rutherford Dust"—that became the hallmark of Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet.
Completed in 2008, the new Georges de Latour Private Reserve Winery is dedicated solely to the production of the flagship wine. The winery within a winery represents the latest advancement in the estate's rich legacy of innovation. It enables the winemaker, the vineyard staff and the cellar crew to further develop the expression of the historic Rutherford terroir, and to fully implement the insight gleaned from in-depth small-lot experiments. "I've always said that our legendary vineyards are my first love," says Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor, "but having a brand new state-of-the-art winery is a dream come true for a winemaker. This facility helps me to achieve complex, yet balanced wines that reflect the true character of our renowned vineyards."
Below are some highlights over more than a century of Beaulieu Vineyard history:
Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) founded by Georges de Latour.
Prohibition begins. BV survives and increases business four-fold by providing sacramental wine to Catholic Church in San Francisco.
Inaugural vintage of George de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon—the original "cult" Cabernet.
Andre Tchelistcheff, a Russian-born scientist, joins BV as winemaker, bringing European winemaking expertise to Rutherford, Napa Valley and California as a whole.
Jeffrey Stambor joins BV. Today, Stambor is director of winemaking and is responsible for crafting the Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tchelistcheff returns to BV as consultant (after retiring in 1973)—mentoring the current winemaking team creating an unprecedented example of unbroken vision and influence of winemaking style.
BV celebrates its Centennial with the release of the renowned 1997 vintage.
Completion of the new state-of-the art Georges de Latour Private Reserve Winery completed, dedicated solely to the production of the legendary flagship Cabernet Sauvignon.
Highly anticipated release of the 2008 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet—the first vintage created solely in the new winery.
Beaulieu's success and rich history of winemaking will be celebrated with exclusive older vintage tastings across the country slated for early next year.
To learn more about Beaulieu Vineyard, please visit www.bvwines.com
©2010 Beaulieu Vineyard, Rutherford, CA
About Beaulieu Vineyard Wines
Beaulieu Vineyard is produced by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E), part of Diageo (Dee-AH-Gee-O); the world's leading premium drinks business. DC&E produces and markets premium wines from around the globe including Napa Valley, Sonoma, the California Central Coast, Washington, France, New Zealand and Australia. Brands include: Sterling Vineyards, Sterling Vintner's Collection, Chalone Vineyard, Acacia Vineyard, and Rosenblum Cellars. DC&E is also a leading importer of estate-bottled wines from Burgundy and Alsacian wines from F.E. Trimbach.
Diageo's broader business includes an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wine and beer including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal. Diageo is a global company, listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com.
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SOURCE Beaulieu Vineyard