Taking to Lodi’s picturesque countryside to delight your palette with a day of wine tastings is far from a novel concept. A trip to the family-run Berghold Vineyard and Winery promises not merely savory flavors from some of their finest vintages, but also a surprising delve into history through their extensive collection of rare antiques.
The history of the Berghold family name is a serendipitous one. Tracing all the way back to 1600s Austria, it means “vineyard worker.” This correlation is, as Julia Berghold describes, a pure coincidence in life. It had long been the ambition of Julia’s father-in-law, Joe Berghold, to produce his own collection of wines. Having grown and sold grapes to established wineries across Napa and Sonoma counties, the time had come to bottle wine under their own label. In 1999 Berghold produced its Syrah, which was followed by the Viogner in 2001—and by 2005 Berghold had opened its tasting room, where tasters can now experience a wide selection of specialties such as their Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet-Syrah blend. “All are estate vintages, hand-crafted and barrel-aged in the traditional method,” Julia explains of the wines. Among the most popular are the French-Oak-aged Cabernet Sauvignon, and a striking Tawny Cabernet Port that was recently added to their repertoire as of last year.
When visiting any typical winery, one expects to taste and discover great wine, but this Lodi staple offers more. The collection of exceptional antiques on showcase at Berghold Vineyards proves this is not your typical winery. Guests can sip wines while being escorted through the facility and learn the history behind each unique piece. Among the most recent acquisitions is, according to Julia, “A fireplace mantle from the Rittenhouse club in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, where Benjamin Franklin was a member, [as well as] Pabst carved dining chairs, which are the last existing dining chairs from the Guilded-age.”
While most plan to make their winery rounds during harvest or perhaps in spring when the weather is pleasant, it behooves anyone interested in visiting Berghold to plan a visit during Christmastime, when the entire place becomes adorned with stunningly elaborate decorations—including life-size, Old World Father Christmases.
It’s this impressive assortment of things to savor, see, and experience that Julia believes compels visitors to keep coming back to Berghold Vineyards and Winery time and again. “It’s not just about wine. It’s about wine, antiques, people…it’s about experience,” Julia smiles.
Sit and Sip:
Berghold Vineyards and Winery
17343 N. Cherry Rd., Lodi