Knowing the history and culture behind the making of a bottle of wine can often make that glass of wine even tastier. If you’re planning to serve wine when entertaining, share this incredible story while pouring your guests a glass of Barbera wine from Boeger Winery.
By the early 1970s all most all traces of a once flourishing California wine industry had been destroyed over time, at first by the California gold rush bust that diminished the population, then by the long years of Prohibition during the depression that destroyed the vineyards, and finally by isolation in what had become a remote and sparsely populated region. The story of Boeger Winery begins in 1972 when Greg Boeger purchased an 80-acre property in Placeville, El Dorado County, California, one of four diminished wine-producing counties in the Sierra Foothills.
Grandson of Napa Valley winemaker, Anton Nicholini, Greg Boeger was the first to envision a revival of the region’s bountiful viticultural past and has successfully done so as Boeger Winery has grown to producing 20,000 cases of premium wine a year. After 30 years of viticulture, winemaking, business management, sales, marketing, and serving on the county’s agricultural commission, Greg Boeger now has a partner in the winery, his son, Justin.
After completing an enology degree at The University of California at Davis and an internship at wineries in Germany’s Franconia region, Justin Boeger joined the winery as a winemaker so his father can concentrate on his most compelling interest, viticulture.
Justin always knew he’d be a winemaker. He went to school to learn the science of winemaking, now he’s enjoying the art of winemaking. Justin believes a scientific wine is clean, but it lacks character, and that making wine with tons of character is where the art of winemaking comes in.
Prior to coming home to Boeger Winery, Justin interned at wineries in the Franconia region in the northern part of Bavaria in Germany. At one winery estate in the 15th century dungeon of a bishop’s palace, Justin would work from 6:30 in the morning until after sundown. Once didn’t see the sun for three weeks straight while working in this windowless winery.
Since returning to Boeger Winery, Justin has made a few changes based on what he has learned through his schooling and his internship in Germany, including using oak barrels in a different way. Instead of buying barrels from one supplier, he has diversified and uses several barrels from several different coopers, different forests, and has tailored each barrel to the particular grape variety and vintage. This is because each different oak barrel at its own diversity, uniqueness, and variety.
Justin attributes the success of Boegery Winery to the quality of their grapes, giving credit to his father for the magnificent fruit he provides for the winemaking process. Boegery Winery prides itself on the fact that they grow 95% of their own fruit. This allows them to have direct control over it so they can produce the high quality wines they are known for.
Both Greg and Justin Boeger love making wines and appreciate their loyal customer base. They wouldn’t rather be doing anything else with their lives than making wine.