Charles Krug Winery

Charles Krug was an imprisoned revolutionary, an entrepreneur, and a wine visionary. Peter Mondavi and family are entrepreneurs and wine innovators, but never imprisoned revolutionaries (that we know of!). Together, they trace the entire timeline for wine in Napa Valley. Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, Napa Valley, was founded by a 24-year-old revolutionary who was part of a coup to overthrow the German Parliament. He was thrown into prison, to be freed only in a second revolution attempt nine months later. Around him, some of Europe’s greatest cities--Prague, Paris and Berlin—were in political and financial turmoil. Meanwhile, from the California Gold Rush came stories of riches and glory and the promise of unimaginable wealth. It didn’t take Krug long to jump on a ship to the New World. Charles was educated, opinionated and entrepreneurial, founding Napa Valley’s first winery in 1881. He was the first major vintner to apply scientific methods and European techniques to winemaking here. He also brought varietal diversity to Napa Valley, too, rejecting the prevalent Mission grape in favor of European varieties. Krug not only set the stage, he built the stage for the Napa Valley wine Read more »

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  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

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