J. Schram epitomizes Schramsberg’s desire to create a wine in which no effort has been spared and no care has been omitted. Representing only 3% of the winery’s annual production, the Chardonnay-focused J. Schram blend is assembled from the very best base wine lots of the approximately 250 produced each year. This special bottling is dedicated to Schramsberg’s founder, Jacob Schram, and has been a great success since its premier 1987 vintage was released in 1992.
Aged for over seven years on the yeast in Schramsberg’s historic Diamond Mountain caves, each bottle is then riddled by hand, and finished with an exceptional brut dosage. Quite appealing on its own as an aperitif, or enjoyed with fresh shellfish, caviar on toast point, smoked salmon, tangy and sharp cheeses, seafood brochettes, cedar-planked lobster, mesquite-grilled quail, or Serrano ham & porcini risotto.
Schramsberg Vineyards is a family-owned Calistoga winery founded in 1862 by Jacob Schram, a German immigrant who was one of the early winemakers in Napa. He planted vineyards and built hillside caves and cellars to store and age wines. The property gained significant attention and prospered through the end of the 19th century.
After Jacob’s death, the property was sold and changed hands several times. It was not used as a vineyard for many years and fell into neglect.
In 1965, after a yearlong search, Jack and Jamie Davies discovered the run-down winery and the tangled remains of once stately gardens and underground cellars. The historic Schramsberg property (declared a Historical Monument in 1957) had been abandoned for years but the Davies took up the challenge and decided Schramsberg would be brought back to life. They restored the estate and set out to produce the finest and most complex hand-crafted sparkling wines in California made in the true champagne method style.
Schramsberg sparkling wines are produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown in a broad array of cool-climate North Coast vineyards located in Napa, Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties. The winemakers draw from more than 110 individual vineyard sites to create over 250 base wines which are then artfully blended to create Schramsberg’s 12-14 distinctive sparkling wines each year.
Most of Schramsberg’s viticultural and winemaking practices are carried out by hand, and the winery ferments 25% of its juice in oak barrels to produce a richer, more luscious style. They have also developed a library of reserve base wines that are barrel aged for up to 10 years to provide additional refinement and complexity to the finished products.