Beringer Vineyards has a legacy of farming unique and important growing regions that dates back to 1876, when two brothers established the winery with a desire to make wines from Napa Valley that rivaled those produced in their homeland of Germany. That tradition continued in the 1960s with an early stake in Knights Valley, and continues today with wines from outstanding vineyard locations in California’s Central Coast. The Waymaker represents Beringer’s pioneering viticultural past, and its commitment to farming the best of California’s vineyards.
"The 2014 Waymaker, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah based blend, is absolutely delicious. Dark red cherry, mocha, chocolate, licorice and dark spices give the 2014 much of its dark, brooding personality. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy flamboyant reds." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, January 2017
The 2014 growing season in Paso Robles was a moderate season with no major heat spikes or overly cool stretches. Another dry year produced small berries with concentrated skin-to-juice ration, providing the wine's rich color, fruit and depth. Overall, it was a very good season, resulting in rich wines with concentrated flavors and colors with balanced acids.
Nestled among the rolling hills near the town of Paso Robles, Camatta Hills is a 600 acre vineyard planted with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Roussanne. The Cuesta Ridge coastal mountain range to the west protects the valley in which the vineyard sits, allowing for even ripening with hot daytime temperatures balanced by cooling Pacific Ocean breezes and maritime fog in the evenings. Camatta's incredibly chalky limestone soils lend the grapes their most distinctive characteristics. Restrictive soils and small canopies create vines that must stress themselves to reach moisture and nutrients, resulting in great flavor and tannin development.
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, each lot is monitored through the vinification process. The wines were then aged in seasoned oak barrels for 16 months to both round and soften the tannins and bring in some additional spice notes. The foundation of the Waymaker is Syrah, a varietal that demonstrates great richness and generosity from Camatta Hills. Cabernet Sauvignon comprises the majority of the balance of the blend, and lends great depth of fruit as well as lifted spice notes. A significant portion of Petite Sirah was blended in for its aromatics and rich, inky color.
Laurie Hook, Beringer's Winemaker Emeritus, began her career in the winemaking program at University of California at Davis, which is noted for training some of the best winemakers around the world. Upon graduating in 1984, she traveled to Australia to work at a small winery. After returning to work a harvest in Sonoma, Laurie came to Beringer as an enologist in 1986, a job that allowed her to solidify the scientific side of her training. In 1997, she was named Assistant Winemaker to Beringer Winemaster Ed Sbragia, and in 2000 she was promoted to Winemaker for Beringer Vineyards. Laurie lead our winemaking team for 15 years before transitioning to winemaker Emeritus in 2015.