Though recognized for its contemporary cultural, political, and viticultural acclaim, Schramsberg’s history dates back way to the 19th century, in the midst of turbulent Civil War in the United States, when German immigrant Jacob Schram first made his home and started his winery on Diamond Mountain.
The northern Napa Valley was still a thickly forested, rugged terrain, and a difficult place to navigate when Jacob Schram set forth to establish the second winery in the area, one year after Charles Krug had opened up shop just a little ways to the south. This was uncharted territory at that time, and something about the raw, dense, uninterrupted beauty of northern California clearly appealed to men like Jacob Schram. Jacob Schram died in 1905. In the next two decades, phylloxera and prohibition devastated the wine industry in California. The Schramsberg property would pass from one wealthy yet disinterested owner to the next for a series of decades until, finally, in 1965, it was purchased by Jack and Jamie Davies, who would restore the estate and bring it to critical acclaim.
The Davies set out to produce sparkling wine – specifically, “America’s most prestigious, select and admired sparkling wine; chosen for special guests, special gifts, pampering one’s self and expressing one’s taste in unique products.” And boy, did they ever succeed in that goal. Through the decades, this spirit of innovation earned Schramsberg and the Davies worldwide praise and recognition.
Schramsberg has also played a role in world history. The Blanc de Blancs was used for President Nixon’s 1972 “Toast to Peace” with China’s Premier Zhou Enlai. Schramsberg’s sparkling wines have been served at official State functions by every U.S. Presidential administration since.
If there is anything to be said for California sparkling wine, Schramsberg sets the standard and is a shining superstar by all accounts.