No it’s not where the Addams family lives. This is Beringer Winery’s Rhine House.
In 1869 the 23-year-old and incomparably ice-eyed Jacob Beringer (have a look - www.beringer.com/en/heritage/h… image - JacobBeringer_11869_cropped.jpg) went from his family’s Rhineland vineyards in Mainz to come work as cellar foreman for Charles Krug. Six years later, he and his brother Fredrick snagged 215 acres of super prime Napa Valley land in St. Helena, so prime that his first harvest yielded 40,000 gallons. Thus began the partnership of ‘Los Hermanos’, one of the grand dames of the Napa Valley wineries, and certainly one of the most popular duos in the area.
Everybody liked the Beringer brothers.
In 1874, Krug winery caught on fire, and Jacob Beringer dashed onto the roof to put out the flames, which worked, and saved Krug’s entire business. This heroism, combined with his winning personality, and his love of children quickly catapulted Beringer into the heart of St. Helena’s culture and government. He in turn, introduced the locals to the fine German tradition of singing while you’re drinking, and he headed up many musical productions celebrating German heritage. Meanwhile, Frederick, was equally as musical back among (as Jacob put it) ‘the inmates of New York City’, and was singing and selling California wine to a market that preferred French wines, but couldn’t help but be won over by his charm. Interestingly enough, Frederick was a long-time compatriot of another lover of German music, William Steinway (and sons) who both supported and sung in the New York Arion Society, of which Frederick was president. Beringer winery found its main market back East, and instead of competing in the saturated San Francisco market, Jacob shipped the wine by rail back to his brother’s successful distributing business in New York City. Die singenden Brüder had soon cornered the East Coast market and in 10 years after founding the winery, production was up to 175,000 gallons.
When Frederick decided to move to California and leave the distribution business in the hands of employees, Jacob began construction on the Rhine house. It’s done in the Old German stile of the middle ages, has two full levels and an attic, and 17 rooms. It was built in 1883. It survived the 1906 earthquake, although a chimney fell over and damaged some of the beautiful stained glass windows. But it’s under the house that the real secret to Beringer success lies. Jacob masterminded an extensive network of tunnels through the limestone hills behind the house, some 1200 feet worth, allowing the winery to store and age their product in a very favorable climate on a scale that no one in Napa had yet attempted. The brothers lived in St. Helena for the rest of their lives, doing good deeds, singing drinking songs, making Riesling, working the business with their kids, and being good neighbors. For instance, during the phylloxera crisis, when all the vineyards were going bankrupt and Charles Krug was in trouble, it was the Beringer brothers who propped up their old employer's winery financially until he could replant. So there’s your uplifting story for the day.
Uncle Fester, on the other hand, was sent to Eynhallow for shooting someone in the back. There, he gets in trouble for using electricity without a license. mtv.mtvnimages.com/uri/mgid:fi…
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That shrubbery and fountain look *top notch*, frames the bottom half of the painting fantastically.