Berryessa Gap receives international recognition

Berryessa Gap Vineyards has received its fair share of accolades over the years. Photo by Meghan Murphy/Courtesy photo

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Winters has become a bigger blip on the map thanks to Berryessa Gap Vineyards.

The internationally-renowned publication Wine Enthusiast Magazine decorated this family-owned business’ 2018 Durif — amongst others — with reviews of excellence.

The wine gets its name from French botanist Francois Durif. His nurseries included Peloursin and Syrah grapes, and whether he did it himself or it happened accidentally, the grapes cross-pollinated. The results were a grape we know today as a Petite Syrah — or Durif.

It’s with this varietal that Berryessa Gap Vineyard’s 2018 Durif scored a 93 on Wine Enthusiast’s wine rating. Their other wines with ratings over 90 include a 2018 Petite Sirah, a 2018 Malbec, 2018 Syrah and non-vintage Gozar! Red Blend.

“Wine Enthusiast is a reliable source and it’s very exciting for us because of their renown,” said Berryessa Gap Vineyards marketing lead Carey Bettencourt. “Anything over a 90 rating is extremely coveted. We have other wines in the 90s and we also got a special designation of Editor’s Choice. It means something of excellence in quality that merits special attention.”

Berryessa Gap Vineyards has received numerous accolades over the years. The grapes produced from the distinguished Martinez grapevine nursery yield top-shelf wines that demonstrate the dedication and aptitude of the wine team.

Commendations from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, however, propels Berryessa Gap Vineyard’s wine selections from top-shelf to a global spotlight.

“Berryessa Gap has done an incredible job at producing great wine. It’s getting recognition it deserves for its quality,” said Bettencourt. “This gives us more recognition and broadens our appeal. Some would say it’s a game-changer to have that score from Wine Enthusiast. It means it’ll be easier to sell wines and validates our quality from a trusted source.”

Perhaps the most unique part of the vineyard’s 2018 Durif is its variability. On one hand, it’s delightful when freshly uncorked (or unscrewed). On the other, the Durif bolsters the age-old expression of aging like a fine wine.

“Whatever happened this year in the growing season, it’s made this wine so age-worthy,” Bettencourt explained the Durif’s characteristics. “There are some red wines that you don’t want aged for 10 years. I have a friend that calls it the ‘immortal’ because it’s delicious now, and incredibly age-worthy for later on.”

The quality wine that Berryessa Gap Vineyards produces is a testament to the exceptional work ethic that comes out of Winters. While the vineyard revels in its accomplishment, it’s by no means slipping into complacency as much more is expected to come from them in the near future.

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