Historic Napa Valley


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

historic napa valley
historic napa valley
Inglenook in Rutherford on Highway 29

Historic Napa Valley Wineries

This photograph of the historic Inglenook Chateau was shot in early January a few years back. There are many clear and beautiful days in the Napa Valley and all of wine country in the Winter. It is a very good time to visit when most travelers seldom think of touring the wine country. In the Napa Valley, it is a very exciting and informative to visit the most historic wineries in the Napa Valley. There are several, but in this article we will feature three: Inglenook, Robert Mondavi, and the Beringer Vinyards. Each of these played an important part in making the Napa Valley the most famous wine region in the world.


Now owned by the famous film director Francis Ford Coppola. Inglenook was built in 1881 and made world class wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, until Inglenook was sold to United Vintners in 1964. The wines unfortunately became jug wines. The winery has come full circle and now the winery, vineyards, and the name are under the ownership of Francis Ford Coppola. Visit the Inglenook Website for tour and tasting information. We have taken the tour twice and it is one of the best.

Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi founded his winery in 1966. Robert Mondavi did more than any other wine figure to bring the Napa Valley wines and food scene to world class recognition. One has to wonder what the Napa Valley would be like without this man’s work and influence. Take time to tour or just walk around the winery to get a sense of the impact Robert Mondavi had on the world of wine. In 2004 Constellation Brands obtained full ownership of the winery in a stock buy out. No matter, the legend of Robert Mondavi lives on.

Beringer Vineyards

What an amazing site while driving along Highway 29 just north of St. Helena. There is a grove of trees growing on both sides of the road that spans the area where the Beringer Rhine House sits. The winery was built in 1884 by the Beringer Brothers. In fact the winery was known as Beringer Brothers until it was sold to a large wine and spirit conglomerate. One the of most fascinating attractions at the winery are the wine caves. These were dug out by hand in the late 1800’s. What an accomplishment. This is also a wonderful place to take a tour and learn the history of the Napa Valley.

Additional information

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.