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Beringer's Wine Caves

Jacob Beringer came to St. Helena, California in 1867 where he worked as cellarmaster for Charles Krug's winery.

In 1875, with his brother who remained back east, Jacob purchased his own piece of property - the old Hudson ranch just outside of St. Helena.  It was ideally located just across from Krug's popular winery.  Beringer started his own winery and planted his own vines.

In 1877 Jacob hired 100 Chinese workers, just back from constructing the Transcontinental railroad, to dig wine tunnels in the hill slopes of his property.  At wages of one dollar a day, the Chinese dug the tunnels with pick and shovel.  It was long hard dusty work.  Dirt had to be hand carried out of the tunnels in woven baskets.  In all they dug about 1000 feet of tunnels over the course of many years.

Jacob created a well known winery, the first to give public tours.  His brother's soon joined him in St. Helena and built the Rhine House as his home.  Jacob actually moved his residence, the Hudson ranch house, to make room for the Victorian Mansion that still stands today.  Many famous people visited the winery, including Tom Mix, Carole Lombard, Clark Gable, Abbott and Costello, and Rudy Vallee, and Andrew Carnigie.  The films "Unholy Wife" and "This Earth is Mine" were filmed here.

The tunnels have recently been modernized.  Beringer tours include visits into the wine caves.