Bechard Vineyard & Winery

About

As a boutique winery our focus is on handcrafted, small lots of premium award winning wines. Our natural winemaking style allows the unique characteristics of the grape varietal and terroir to stand out. These wines can be enjoyed on their own or as a beautiful addition to any dining experience.

Location Description

Located in the town of Somerset, El Dorado County, California, overlooking the North Fork of the Cosumnes River.

Features

  • The Best Wines Ever!

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

History

It all began hiking on the dusty road to St. Baume while volunteering at La Sabranenque in Southern France. La Sabranenque a non-profit organization based in Saint Victor la Coste, near Avignon in Provence, has been working for the preservation of the rural Mediterranean habitat, its heritage, architecture and techniques. As we went off to work each day we passed through the famous wine regions of the Rhone Valley, Chateauneuf du Pape, Lirac and Tavel(known for their Rosé wines). Many of the restoration projects were in small intimate Chapels located in the remote countryside which we learned were used as a refuge for pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela. A few years later after extensive research and planning we began our pilgrimage to Santiago by bicycle from St Jean Pied de Port on the border of Spain and France in the Pyrenees covering 500 miles through northern Spain. The plan continued to develop bicycling on the road to Compostella through the rolling hills of the Rioja wine region. An idea, a dream, a midlife crisis became a desire to fully involve ourselves in the world of food and wine.

Our adventure to the land of food and wine commenced with a 3500-mile journey from Bar Harbor, Maine to Northern California. Calistoga the northernmost town in the Napa Valley became our home and we remained there for the next four years. Ted began working for Vincent Arroyo Winery in Calistoga and Andrea for Eleanor and Francis Coppola, owners of the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery in Rutherford. These two family owned businesses showed us the diversity of wineries in the Napa Valley, ranging from an intimate tasting room in the wine cellar to a mutli-million dollar showplace. From our experiences we learned that the familiarity of our establishment could offer our customers a friendly and educational wine experience.
Our winemaking experiences began with picking second crop grapes, stomping in the picking bin, fermenting in plastic barrels and pressing in a small basket press. After three years of training in the winery and classes in general viticulture, wine chemistry, microbiology, vineyard soils, plant nutrition, sensory evaluation and analysis of must and wines we were on our way to begin planning our own label.

Realizing that the Napa Valley was unrealistic in terms of land acquisition, we began widening our search for vineyard property in Mendocino, Anderson Valley, Sonoma and finally came across the Fairplay viticulture region in El Dorado County located in the Sierra Foothills. On our first trip we found a 20 acre parcel off the Grizzly Flat Road with a stunning view of the Cosumnes river valley. We continued our search but we kept coming back to the beautiful parcel we first saw and eventually purchased the property in May of 2001.

Development of the vineyard began in 2002 with the first planting in the summer of 2003. Our emphasis being small batch premium handcrafted wines with an importance placed on blending to achieve wine style with more complexity. Following the traditional styles from the Rhone Valley in France and the Rioja region in Spain, the vineyard was planted with Viognier, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. After making wine at several locations over the past few years we broke ground in the summer/fall of 2005 for the new winery building and construction began after harvest was completed. We welcome you to visit the vineyard and celebrate in the continuing progress of our new home.

Practices & Techniques

Our winemaking experiences began with picking second crop grapes, stomping in the picking bin, fermenting in plastic barrels and pressing in a small basket press. After three years of training in the winery and classes in general viticulture, wine chemisty, microbiology, vineyard soils, plant nutrition, sensory evaluation and analysis of must and wines we were on our way to begin planning our own label.

Since our vineyard was planted in 2002 we have been committed to farming sustainably without the use of weed sprays or chemical pest control. Our goal each year is to improve the soil and ultimately our crop by increasing organic matter and soil microbe populations. We use organic fertilizers, compost, and a winter cover crop of legumes, vetch and oats. The cover crop fixes nitrogen in the soil while creating an excellent habitat for beneficial insects in the spring and by adding organic matter to the soil once mowed in the summer. Our current flock of chickens is an added bonus to fertility, pest control and weed eating.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Following in the traditional winemaking styles of the Rhone Valley in France and the Rioja region in Spain, our vineyard is planted with Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah.

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Hours

Friday- Sunday 11 am-5 pm Monday- Thursday By Appointment

Address

4244 Rooster Ct Somerset
Somerset, California 95684
United States

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