In 1862, German immigrants Jacob and Annie Schram established Schramsberg as the first winery with vineyards planted on the hillsides of the Napa Valley. With the help of Chinese labourers, vineyards replaced scrub oak, and a network of underground caves was tunnelled into the soft, volcanic rock.
In 1965, Jack and Jamie Davies assumed stewardship of the winery with the mission to produce America’s first methode champenoise sparkling wines, using the noble grapes of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the classic, old-world tradition. Each Vineyard would be vinified separately to create small, individual lots of base wine, then painstakingly selected and handcrafted into America’s artisan sparkling wines.
Schramsberg is widely regarded as California’s best sparkling wine, a fact confirmed in December last year when The Wine Spectator awarded them the honour of ‘Best American Sparkling Wines’. Since the re-birth of the winery in 1965, both critics and consumers have lauded each release of this celebrated producer. Despite the ubiquitousness of its French competitors, Schramsberg wines still compare more than favourably when tasted blind. In fact, it could be argued that on price Schramsberg will often outperform Champagne houses of far greater repute.