Bechard Vineyard & Winery
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.
Located in the town of Somerset, El Dorado County, California, overlooking the North Fork of the Cosumnes River.
- The Best Wines Ever!
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
- Picnic Facilities:
- Dog Friendly:
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- Wine Tasting:
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- Organic / Biodynamic:
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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
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.