Beyond the Bubbles: Insider’s Look at Schramsberg
“Schramsberg is likely the greatest sparkling wine in the business. …
“Schramsberg has built a reputation out of quality, dedication and vision. Creating the best possible sparkling in the business is what they’re known for. They don’t stop there. Schramsberg also carries quality stills with their Davies, J. Davies and Jamie brands making exceptional quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
“In 1965 the Davies family was captivated by the idea of building a wine company. Jack & Jamie Davies, along with their young brood, found a beautiful spot in Napa Valley. This winery, now 154 years old, is located on Diamond Mountain. Diamond Mountain is part of the extensive 52 mile Mayacamas Mountain range and is located between Calistoga and St. Helena. It had a house on it and vines that were more of a nature experiment than vines they might use, but they saw the same promise one Jacob Schram saw almost 100 years before their arrival and embraced the chance to put their drive in action. There were just 22 wineries operating in 1965, but the Davies had a vision, a dream, and a family to take care of and were focused on the goal.
“With a Harvard MBA under his belt, Mr. Davies knew that focus on a unique offering could make this new business a success. He and Jamie determined a sparkling California wine was one they could embrace using old world methods to ferment. Méthode Traditionelle is a labor intensive and more expensive, involving a -secondary fermentation- and is also known as “The Champagne Method”. First, a base wine is fermented in steel or oak barrels and then it is moved to bottle for secondary fermentation. The devotion and focus Jack & Jamie Davies had on producing sparkling using this method paid off significantly. They set a precedent for others to follow.
“The thing about a start-up, then or now; it doesn’t matter how much money you have, you are always gambling. Prohibition left vineyards and the industry in an abominable state. With time the industry started to turn around. Jack and Jamie Davies had the vision, tenacity, and determination to make this work. The hard work would not go unnoticed. It was about the time the man landed on the moon that the Davies family got their first landmark recognition. It arrived at one of the most historic meetings the world would see.
“Their Blanc de Blancs was the first American made wine served at an official U.S. State function, and it made an outstanding debut for the historic meeting of the minds with global leaders between the U.S. and China in 1972. Today, it continues to be a mainstay of the White House.”
Watch Kelly Mitchell interview owner Hugh Davies and winemaker Sean Thompson on The Wine Siren.