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Beauregard's Blog

Ryan Beauregard
December 7, 2023 | Ryan Beauregard

Bald Mountain Vineyard Drone Footage

Time Posted: Dec 7, 2023 at 2:38 PM Permalink to Bald Mountain Vineyard Drone Footage Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
December 7, 2023 | Ryan Beauregard

Hedging Coast Grade Vineyard

Time Posted: Dec 7, 2023 at 2:21 PM Permalink to Hedging Coast Grade Vineyard Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
December 7, 2023 | Ryan Beauregard

Wine Tasting with Ryan Beauregard

Time Posted: Dec 7, 2023 at 2:19 PM Permalink to Wine Tasting with Ryan Beauregard Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
October 31, 2023 | Ryan Beauregard

2023 Harvest Notes

Today is October 31 2023 and I just finished loading the last truck of Pinot Noir from Coast Grade.

On November 2nd, we will pick the Cabernet Sauvignon from Beauregard Ranch marking the latest pick date in my 24 years of making wines from this vineyard.

So about the most challenging vintage of my life:

Winter here in Bonny Doon was intense.  There was heavy rainfall throughout the season which caused a series of issues.  For one, the vines sat dormant longer than any year that I can remember.  I always put an application of organic stylet oil on the vines to eradicate dormant powdery mildew spores, but the tractors could not navigate the deep mud that never dried out.  Pruning was also pushed out farther than I can ever remember also because of the rain.  Most interestingly we had a heavy snow that stayed on the ground for a week, aiding to a late bud break.  The last time I can remember a snow like this was 40 years ago.  My daughters persuaded me to stand on a boogie board and ride down the vineyard road which ended in a substantial shoulder injury, unfortunately I discovered that a man nearly 50 years old does not rebound as quickly as a younger man.  During the start of this season, I yelled at the sky.

Spring was a typically warm April but it moved into one of the coldest Mays that I can remember.  It rained many times pushing my sprays intervals out in the vineyards.  By the time I was able to get tractors into the vineyards to mow, disk, and spray it was 6 weeks later than the previous vintage.  The cover crop grew so tall that the mowers could barely cut the cover crop down and the tractors sank into the mud on more than one occasion.  Water oozed out of the ground for weeks.  I yelled at the sky.

Summer yielded only one heat spike which was on the 4th of July weekend and hit 100 degrees for one day.  The cold summer delayed fruit development.  In most years, we have a consistent warm season with occasional heat spikes which help the grapes mature, but not this year.  I yelled at the sky.

Fall was also a cold one.  In the middle of September, I was convinced that we would have no crop to harvest.  I was rather depressed that my perseverance throughout the growing season might go to waste.  I was terrified of the looming disaster which included the potential for financial devastation.  The final rain before harvest caused enough mildew so that I lost one third of the Bald Mountain Chardonnay crop just one week before picking.  I yelled at the sky.

There is  good news here The long hang time (or late harvest) sometimes has the potential to make unparalleled wines with superb quality.  Slower development will give the wines more character and nuances, and complexity.  I find that grapes that are physiologically riper and more developed with a generally lower percent of sugar (brix).  The highest quality wines in the world are made from grapes that can barely ripen before the winter.  Here in Bonny Doon, we see a lot of years like this but never to this degree.  I am calling this out to be the greatest vintage of a generation, mark my words.

So that is the story of the 2023 vintage for Beauregard Vineyards.  

After a turbulent farming year I am feeling the urge to connect with family, extended family, my chosen family, and my good friends.  Looking towards my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, I cannot wait to tell my favorite humans how much I appreciate them. I am also very thankful for you, my wine club member.

 This will be a season that I will never forget and I hope you enjoyed reading about it.  



Time Posted: Oct 31, 2023 at 3:25 PM Permalink to 2023 Harvest Notes Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
August 1, 2023 | Ryan Beauregard

Drone Footage of Coast Grade Vineyard

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2023 at 11:05 AM Permalink to Drone Footage of Coast Grade Vineyard Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
August 27, 2021 | Ryan Beauregard

The 2020 Lost Weekend...Vintage Notes

This is a delicious wine with an essence of "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" per se. The memories are still hard to bear and it is impossible to convey the emotions that this wine holds for me.  It is a reminder of utter fear and uncertainty.  The CZU Lightning Complex Fire was one year ago now, though it still seems like yesterday.  

Days before the CZU lightning complex fire, I had brought in the grapes to make this wine.  After trucking from Contra Costa County, I took the grapes from the 135-year old vines and de-stemmed them into my fermentation vessels.  I covered the vats with plastic and went about my business of cleaning up the winery and preparing for other projects coming down the line towards us.  Little did I know that the project would be defending my home and winery (along with some of my best friends - now brothers) from the largest natural disaster that the County of Santa Cruz has ever faced.

Needless to say, I abandoned this fermentation.  The days were long, hot, and full of smoke.  Adrenaline and fear is what we had for dinner, perfectly paired with the occasional shots of whatever liquor was on hand to soothe the nerves.  As large embers fell from the sky, a dark blanket of smoke covered us and the winery went dark.  I was sure we would lose everything.  I came to terms with this and felt the largest defeat that I could ever describe.  

Enter the Bonny Doon Renegades.  

A large group of neighbors who refused to leave (once we knew that Cal Fire had pulled away from the fire) formed to become our own fire fighting brigade.  Many legendary stories will eventually fall into folklore but in a nutshell many men and women bonded together to save our homes in whatever form of fear-driven survival means were necessary. Rakes, chainsaws, leaf blowers, and many hand tools were used in this great defense. In many cases, winery harvesting bins and fermenters filled with water, were seen in the back of pickup trucks attached to whatever pump that could be used to extinguish a fire.  

These renegade groups received some bad press and a lot of animosity/disapproval from many communities, which was justified.  What many of the people casting judgment against us didn't realize is that we were not just defending our homes.  We defended family legacies, community, and our unique and brawny culture.  Was this a good decision?  Absolutely not, and if you are reading this, then I would urge anyone to 100% evacuate from a forest fire.  Things change really fast.  Things could have gotten really bad, really bad. 

The grapes for this wine sat unattended through the whole fire in the fermentation vats covered in plastic.  Eventually the fire was somewhat over (easy to type in one sentence, but indescribable).  I peeled back the plastic to find that the grapes had fermented on their own, with zero input from man.  The plastic covering had trapped the naturally occurring CO2 gas and had kept the wine from going bad.  What I came to find was that the wine was actually in good condition.  By the sheer muscularity of Zinfandel and Carignan from 135-year-old vines, the wine was also a survivor!  After locating a generator, I was able to press the wine into tanks where it sat alone for several more weeks before going to barrels.  The property was in shambles, there was aftermath of fire everywhere.  The grey and yellow skies had somewhat become normal.  Ash layered everything.  Helicopters carrying water from a nearby pond flew over me on missions to extinguish the remaining flare ups while I pressed this wine.  Repopulation of Bonny Doon was still weeks away and I was one of the few people still on the mountain when this wine was pressed off of the skins.  Much of our community was destroyed and my survivor guilt was beginning to emerge.  

This wine, though not from our beloved estate, is a miracle in its own existence.  As are our homes, the school, the church, a few remaining neighborhoods, and The Lost Weekend itself, which is one of the iconic symbols of our small mountain community.  The Lost Weekend Tasting Room has stood through many natural disasters, including  two major earthquakes: 1906 and 1989.  It has stood through The Great Fire of 1905, The Pine Mountain Fire of 1945, the Martin Fire of 2008, The Lockheed Fire of 2009, and most recently, the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire. 

This wine is more of a tribute to this iconic building now than it has ever been.  I hope you can acquire this legendary wine and have a toast to the mountain community of Bonny Doon alongside your family and friends, and share the tale this wine has to tell. 

This wine that made itself and survived this disaster along with us, will always remind me of the resilience of the human spirit. It also reminds me of the reason we make wine. It captures more than any photograph ever could, the unique, sometimes momentous, vintage from which it came. 


Peace and love to all of you from The Beauregard Family. 



Time Posted: Aug 27, 2021 at 2:21 PM Permalink to The 2020 Lost Weekend...Vintage Notes Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
July 26, 2021 | Ryan Beauregard

Replanting Bald Mountain Vineyard

This 40-acre vineyard, planted in 1990, sits at an elevation of 920 to 1,050 feet on a southwest-facing slope. Monterey Bay marine influences combine with the rare white sandy Zayante soil to produce wines with minerality and striking acidity. Plantings: 33 acres of Chardonnay Clone 4. Seven acres of Pinot Noir, clones of Pommard, 667 & Mt. Eden.

We purchased Bald Mountain Vineyard in 2020. The history of Bald Mountain dates back to 1989 when my grandparents and parents leased the 40-acre plot of raw land. My father and grandfather planted the vineyard when I was just 16 years old. The first harvests quickly drew a lot of attention, attesting to the quality of the site. Though this launch was in the then ‘Robert Parker Era’ of fat buttery Chardonnays, the site was showing that it had what it took to create wines that would be genuine crowd-pleasers. 
Fast forward to 1998. It was an unseasonably cold season. The rain came early that year which didn’t allow the crop to ripen as much as the purchasing winemakers would have liked. I was 23 years old and had my first inclination to make wine. My dad agreed to give me one harvesting bin of fruit, enough to make one barrel of wine. I picked up the grapes in the dark (and in the rain), and I transported this bin of grapes to my home in Bonny Doon. I used an old basket press in a barn at my dad’s house to press off my first Chardonnay juice. Though I was doing this process with 5-gallon buckets and sans electricity, I instantly felt connected to a sense of naturalness. I will not go further into details about the caveman-like production, but ultimately I was incredibly proud of the nearly undrinkable wine! 

Fast forward again to 2001. After the tragedy in New York City, the economy instantly fell into despair, and luxury items like Bald Mountain Chardonnay plummeted. By the 2002 harvest, fruit prices went from $2,800/ton to $800/ton, and winemakers were still not buying. At this time, I had two commercial vintages under my belt but still knew very little about how to make quality wine. Nevertheless, my father suggested that we (as an emerging partnership) take nearly 50 tons of excess fruit over to the Mirassou winery in San Jose, where I was making my small batches of wine under a custom crush contract. It was enough fruit to produce 3,200 cases. I remember this number vividly because I had to take my first business loan to bottle. I ended up pushing this wine into the distribution channels, and admittedly, I sold the wine for less than it cost to make it leaving me with a large pile of debt after the wine was sold out. The first of many lessons I would learn about the wine industry. It took me ten years to pay off this debt with the measly profits I would make from my future wine production. I will skip the next years of perseverance and fast forward again to 2013 when I finally figured out how to make this Chardonnay into something magnificent over a long period of time. At this time in the vineyard’s life, the tonnage produced plummeted due to a few factors, one being a loss of water rights to a pond that used to irrigate the vineyard, but primarily due to a grapevine disease known as Eutypa, commonly known as vine dead arm. Yields went from 3 tons to less than 1 ton per acre, where they stayed for a decade. Long story short, 30 years have passed, and this year we exercised the option to purchase this sacred land. The story of perseverance on this plot of land will continue for the remainder of my career. 

Replanting Bald Mountain Vineyard
In early 2020, I experienced the most fulfilling moments in my winegrower career; replanting Bald Mountain Vineyard, huge scores and reviews from critics, lining up to bottle some of the most exciting wines I have made. The replanting was a monumental experience for me and kept me both mentally exhausted and entirely fulfilled at the same time.  

We cleared 10 acres of Bald Mountain Vineyard. It was a long process, much longer than the time I had allocated to do the job. Also, twice the cost that I had anticipated! The ground preparation is essential, and this is one part of the project that cannot be redone once the trellising, irrigation, and finally, the vines go in. I consider this ground preparation to be the single most crucial part of making a bottle of wine. Once the ripping and cross ripping is completed, we will disk and ring roll the ground and then leave it to rest for six months before installing the trellising hardware and irrigation. All this clearing happens while we continue to farm the bottom 19 acres of the vineyard. 

Farming Bald Mountain has been magical, and taking care of the vineyard takes a considerable amount of work. The first pass through the vineyard by hand is completed with a crew of nearly 15 men and women plus the Carloses and me. With 20 people, the first pass usually takes about four days (640 man-hours) to complete the shoot thinning, removing the basal suckers (green shoots) from the bottom of the plants and possibly push ⅓ of the longer shoots into the first catch wires (many shoots are not long enough and will be on the next pass through the vineyard). This is the third most labor-intensive maintenance part of the vineyard, following the total intensity of pruning (being number one) and picking (being number two). Once we can see this fruit set, we can estimate what we will have for the harvest. 

Time Posted: Jul 26, 2021 at 4:38 PM Permalink to Replanting Bald Mountain Vineyard Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
June 23, 2021 | Ryan Beauregard

Talking Santa Cruz Mountain Wine with Ryan Beauregard

Talking Santa Cruz Mountain Wine with Ryan Beauregard

by The Wine Write

"Two decades in, he learns new things each vintage.

Ryan Beauregard pretty quickly decided on the style of his wines. After a few years making the massive, higher alcohol wines favored by many critics and consumers at the turn of this century, he pivoted. For years now he has crafted wines that exude minerality, aromatics, and varietal typicity. The lineup has drawn consistent accolades from both professional reviewers and a loyal customer base. These are lower alcohol wines that speak of a special place"

Read the complete Article Online Here

Time Posted: Jun 23, 2021 at 2:34 PM Permalink to Talking Santa Cruz Mountain  Wine with Ryan Beauregard Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
March 1, 2019 | Ryan Beauregard

News from the vine March 2019


I am writing to you from my small office inside a frigid cellar. There are background sounds of a forklift and cases being stacked. The days of having an ”off season” are now roughly 9 years in the past. Now, we continue in the cellar at a steady pace, caring for the wines in barrels and in bottles. This time of the year is important because this is where I start to make my decisions on how to handle wines towards the finish line of bottling. The 2018 wines in the barrels are starting to show their characters, and that is very satisfying. I am confident that we will have a great bottling for the 2018 vintage.

Next week will mark daylight savings time which I usually consider the beginning of the new season. It is now that we can all look forward to spring’s long awaited arrival. I am ecstatic that the hundreds of Rhododendrons we have planted all around the winery and our home will soon bloom!

The Season so far:

The atmospheric rivers of this winter keep coming. As of today, our annual rainfall total is 44.42 inches here in the Ben Lomond Mountain AVA. Last year’s total was 42.73 and March is typically the wettest month of the year in Bonny Doon. There is record snowfall in Lake Tahoe. The rivers are flooding towns in the Russian River Valley and additionally there are floods in many places in Napa and Santa Rosa leaving vines under water, and one winery destroyed. Needless to say the ground in Bonny Doon is saturated and therefore the vines should be able to flourish this season without the typical use of irrigation. I also expect ( based upon last year’s warmer season) that the bud development will leave us with a heavier than usual fruit set leading to our ability to make more wine!

In the Vineyard:

Pruning is completed at Beauregard Ranch and almost completed at Coast Grade. In between storms we will prune Bald Mountain. Coast Grade and Beauregard Ranch combined are 28 acres, while Bald Mountain alone is 32 acres. We have been working our crew of 5 guys with a really awesome outside vineyard crew and combined we contributed a total 833 man hours so far which is equivalent to 104 days for one person.

To say the least, pruning is very costly, but is one of the most important parts of setting the stage for the next season’s crop

In the Cellar:

I have been putting blends together for the next bottling. Last week I blended 28 barrels of the next vintage of The Lost Weekend. This vintage is Zinfandel based which should be a very nice crowd pleaser and a wine that will quickly be your weeknight favorite. We are happy to be able to offer a more approachable everyday drinking wine once again! The opportunities for grapes outside of our estate vineyards are hit and miss, and often find me late in the season. I will also be blending the return of the Meritage blend to be released around the same time as the Lost Weekend. Keep an eye out for these! I am very excited to get these wines to you.

It is all about the wines:

I am very pleased with the wines that I am releasing to you. In following my Burgundian passion, I present to you the 2016 Chardonnay from Regan Vineyard.

Regan is owned and operated by my friend John Bargetto. I have been working with John for the past 15 years off and on, but mostly on. Our families go back to the 1930’s in Santa Cruz County. My Great-Grandfather Amos Beauregard actually arrested one of the previous generations of Bagettos for transporting illegal wine in Soquel circa 1935. I do not think that encounter spawned a friendship, but more of a negative acquaintance.

Fast forward 10 years and Amos purchased our home ranch and started selling Zinfandel grapes to the Bargetto winery. I very much appreciate my relationship with the Bargettos and the Regan Vineyard is magnificent.

The terroir of this vineyard: The vineyard is very close to the Pacific Ocean and is a low elevation vineyard which sits at only 400 feet leaving it inside the fog for much of the growing season. The result is that on the nose the wine has a refreshing salinity and purity reflective of the site’s maritime proximity. The soil is a loamy clay interior mixed with fractured sandstone resulting in a mineral yet richer palate. The wine is aged on 20% new French oak which gives it a light hint of vanilla and spice tying the fruit together with the barrel. I expect this wine to age for 15-20 years. I suggest adding a couple of bottles to your purchase to experience the aging.

Next, and more important, is a wine that I am rather dumbfounded about because the quality is so extraordinary: The 2016 Pinot Noir Beauregard Ranch. As the roots dig deeper into the ground the vines are revealing their capabilities to produce world class Pinot Noir. These vines are very important because this site is one of the heritage vineyards of the Santa Cruz Mountains dating back to 1880 as a commercially producing vineyard making it the oldest site in the appellation. I take a lot of pride in this heritage. This vineyard is sacred land to my family; every relative for the past 78 years has had their ashes spread into the vineyard as they pass, and I will eventually end up as part of that soil too. To say I am connected to this land is an understatement, I was even born on that property only 15 yards from where this wine grows.

The terroir of this wine: The vineyard is very close to the ocean, measured by Google Earth to be 3.1 miles from the Pacific Ocean. On the nose, this wine is dusty, has hints of Christmas tree (Douglas Fir) and a slight botanical (manzanita) scent. The impressive elevation ranges are around 1,700 feet to just over 1,800 feet. This brilliant combination of ocean proximity and elevation, leads to more fruit development and more complexities, specifically acidity. The soil here is silty loam and sand bordered by redwood trees (think salamanders). In the Pinot Noir block 5 and 6 the soils are clay and sandstone. Block 1 and 3 are bordering a sandstone outcropping and chaparral (think rattlesnakes). This leads to the wines prevalent minerality on the palate. I tied this all together in French oak barrels crafted in Beaune, France in the heart of Burgundy. The barrels are designed specifically for mineral and aromatic Pinot Noir, and the new upgrade to this wine is frankly stunning.

World of Pinot Noir:

I wanted to take just a short moment to talk about an event that I participated in that I considered a major honor. I was invited to the amazing Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara to present my wines to some of the top critics, collectors, and general enthusiasts (like yourself). To my appreciation, on March 2nd, I was also invited to participate in the “Stars of the Central Coast” dinner of which Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s contributing editor Matt Kettman selected what he thought are the 12 best Pinot Noir producers in the Central Coast of California. There are 360 (most recent count I can find online) central coast wineries, and not to mention the Custom Crush producers that are involved. Anyhow, I was flattered to be included, and I wanted to share my excitement about this with you. The wine that I brought to this dinner is the wine that you have in your shipment for this release so enjoy and cellar if you can. I considered

this my best foot forward for the event and it is serendipitous that I can share this with you.

Well, it is now time for me to head back to my passion and get my hands into the beautiful Bonny Doon dirt. I want to thank you once again for being part of the Beauregard Vineyards community and for sharing my passion for making wine with me.

I certainly hope to cheers glasses with you in the near future.

Time Posted: Mar 1, 2019 at 9:44 AM Permalink to News from the vine March 2019 Permalink
Ryan Beauregard
November 6, 2018 | Ryan Beauregard

November 2018: News From the Vine

November 2018

Get comfortable, because I have a lot to say in this letter.  Perhaps this is more of an informative essay as it were. This is the most important wine club of the year.  

Caught up in a rush:

First off, I would like to extend my apologies for the last letter not coming through.  I wrote to you amidst the chaos of Pinot Noir harvest and after hours of preparation my letter became entrapped in an editing purgatory and I had to move on. If you missed it, please check it out on our website blog.

As I wanted to explain in the entrapped letter to you in September, I have made a conscious decision to tighten in what Beauregard Vineyards is to be known for in the future.  Quite simply explained, I want Beauregard Vineyards to be known for making a very specific wine.  By specific, I mean Ben Lomond Mountain, and more specifically our Estate fruit from Beauregard Ranch, Coast Grade, and Bald Mountain.  This year, I purchased grapes from only two wines outside of our Estate because the wines are too remarkable to part ways from. I love all of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and I am forecasting that I will continue to make wines from outside of our estate in the future once an epiphany of a second brand name comes to me by way of a shooting star or bigfoot or something along those lines.


In the past few weeks, I hope you have been privy to my library wine purge.  Tying back into the paragraph above, I have been holding onto a large array of library wines.  Most from the estate vineyards, but many that were favorites from my tenure working with other growers.  When I am old and grey, I only want to reflect back on my family estate wines. I only want to tell those tales. So I have decided to purge some spectacular wines,this will allow me to turn my stockpile of these fine wines into cash and further my ability to invest into our own terroir.  I will continue a weekly offering until the purge is complete.  Stay tuned.

Giving thanks:

So here we are moving on to November, and the grand finale of a great year.  This is my favorite time of year because of the vast gatherings and causes for celebration.  Being the father of two amazing young girls has rekindled my appreciation for the holiday season which in my earlier adult years I had despised.  Now in my midlife, I have come to find that this is a time of year to show appreciation for my friends, family, coworkers, customers, and community at large.  I have come to find that my gratitude for the people in my life is my greatest personal treasure and therefore this time of year has become my favorite. The community that has arisen around Beauregard Vineyards is more amazing with each passing year and I am thankful that you are part of it.

Harvest 2018 report:

I could write you a novel about how perfect this vintage was, but I will try my best to keep this short.  2018 was textbook perfect for our vineyards with slow ripening caused by a cooler growing season. The yields were light but that leads to higher quality wines (in most cases).  The last time we had harvests this late was 2010 which I remember vividly. The big difference between 2010 and 2018 is that we had no rain to speak of during the 2018 ripening season.  The diurnal temperature shifts were quite extreme with the nights dipping into the high 40’s and the days warming to an average 65. This slow ripening leads to more fruit development and better physiological ripening for the berries while preserving acidity.  By better physiologically ripening, I mean that the skins of the berries are thicker, the seeds are darker, and the stems of the clusters become more lignified (brown rather than green). In my career, I can name a few perfect vintages; 2002, 2012, and 2018 come to mind.   I am not going to boast the tonnage we brought across the scales, which is something that winemakers do amongst themselves kinda like a pissing contest, but I am going to boast that the quality of the vintage is remarkable and my team put in 110% effort to craft the best wines that can be made from our family estate.  I have selected rare and unusual barrels from constructed in France which will hone these wine gems while they mature into wines I will be proud to put my family’s name on.

Yesterday (October 26th), was one of the final picks of the season to come across the scales at my winery.  The pick was Merlot from my good friend and collaborator John Bargetto. The Beauregards and the Bargettos have been in business relations since the days of prohibition, when Amos Beauregard arrested one of the Bargettos for transporting illegal wine across Soquel.  I assume that relationship may have taken some time to heal. Post prohibition, Amos began selling Zinfandel grapes to the Bargettos. I value this relationship and I admire and respect the Bargetto family immensely and it tickles me that 5 generations later we are still involved in wine business with one another.  The final grapes across the scale made way for smiling faces on the crush pad. As much as we all love the excitement of the harvest, we are ready now for some new excitement.

The last fruit on the vines still hanging is the Late Harvest Zinfandel which I will pick the day before Thanksgiving with hopes to make a condensed sweet wine with loads of acid and residual sugar.  

The story of the stockbroker that struck it rich and her romance with Cabernet Sauvignon:

Years ago, I had the privilege of working with one Warner Strejan.  Warner (like the brothers he would say) became a great friend to me during his time working from me as my direct to trade salesman servicing the San Francisco Bay Area restaurants and boutique bottle shops.  Though Warner moved on to brighter pastures in the throes of the Manhattan wine sales market, we still keep in touch. There was a story that Warner would tell people that I was slow to adopt. When Warner would sell wine, he would use his story telling skills to tell the tale of the New York Stockbroker who managed a hedge fund and struck it rich.  She was a native to Manhattan, but her love was always wine. Therefore, she put her sights on the Napa Valley and purchased a large estate and hired the best farmers in the business to plant a massive new vineyard and the best construction company to build the most elaborate winery with the largest caves in California. The tasting room features fresco paintings from an Italian artist that was employed for several years during the construction. There are travertine fountains and elaborate gardens with a view of Howell Mountain in the distance.  She hires the best winemakers from UC Davis to craft the wines and the first release of her Cabernet Sauvignon is now $300 per bottle.

At this point, Warner would lean in towards the wine buyer and tilt his eye glasses down with a eye to eye intensity and ask the wine director how many times he has heard that same story.  At that point there would always be that awkward silence that would last only seconds but would seem like minutes. The point that Warner would soon make is that wine is more about culture and long term commitment rather than to prove how much money somebody had and that the price tag that some of these wines displayed was not based upon the quality of the wine but more so on the perceived value of the wine because of the monetary investment into the facility.  Warner would then explain that Beauregard Vineyards may not have the lavish showmanship of the Napa Valley but the wines stood as strong if not better in a blind tasting lineup as the glittery producers of the Napa Valley. Warner would then say that these glamor wineries from the Napa Valley lacked only one thing, and that was soul.

Warner and I parted ways about a year ago (dreadfully)  when he moved to Oregon. We tried the long distance bromance for a few months but it proved impractical. Recently, I was reminded about his story as I decanted the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Beauregard Ranch (one of your club selections).  To me the Beauregard Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon embodies everything that I have been trying to achieve in my career. Heart and soul, generational commitment, specific mountain terroir, skillful craftsmanship, community, and a story of the owners dirt covered hands striving to make the best wines in the world year after year after year, decade after decade.

Much ado about Chardonnay:

I have been outward in my affection for Chardonnay for twenty years now.  I flew the Chardonnay flag amidst the shortsighted ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) crowd all the way until they floundered and (thankfully) faded away.  I began my winemaking journey in 1998 when I was 23 years old. My novice mind at that time could not pinpoint what it was about Chardonnay grown in Bonny Doon that I loved so much.  My middle aged hindsight now knows what the novice, pompous, and rather arrogant young Ryan loved about this wine. I loved terroir, which I knew nothing about at that time mostly because it was a foreign term seldomly used in the late 1990s.  At Beauregard Ranch there is a familiarity of the land that is ingrained into my childhood memories. When I walk the fields nowadays I am swarmed with memories of my childhood including my grandparents and their friends. Chardonnay has a special tendency to show its reflection of origin like no other wine that I know of.  So in the infancy of my appreciation for wine, I would try to compare the nuances to familiar foods or scents which is something that I never do now.

During the past half-decade we have experienced a major growth to our wine club which many many factors (and people) contribute to.  Beauregard Ranch Chardonnay is only a two acre block of our family estate. The vines yield a very low quantity of fruit because of the sandy and poor quality soil.  The 2018 vintage yielded only 4 harvesting bins which weighed a meager 1.8 tons. This yield is not expandable by much and for 2018’s harvest I will only get 1,557 bottles (or thereabouts).  168 bottles gets reserved for my family’s wine library leaving an estimated 1.2 bottles per club member. After we process this wine club I estimate that the 2017 vintage will only have 170 bottles (~14 cases) remaining.  As a club member, this wine is $60/bottle and you get the 20% discount bringing it to $48.00. The remaining bottles will not be available on the tasting bar ever and will be reserved for club members.

In closing this long-winded letter to you, I want to reiterate how thankful I am for your patronage to my family’s winery.  As you are aware, we are a small producer from a small and virtually unknown area. I have no intentions to become a big winery because I prefer to craft soulful wines from small plots of esteemed land which are farmed by people that I care about.  Your continued support of my wines helps allow the Beauregard Vineyards community to thrive on it’s small scale supporting a handful of dedicated craftsmen and a very talented sales staff in the tasting room.

I wish you and your family a blissful end to a remarkable year.  With a deep hearted thank you,

Ryan Beauregard, Winemaker

Time Posted: Nov 6, 2018 at 9:48 AM Permalink to November 2018: News From the Vine Permalink

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