The Bernhard Winery

The Bernhard Winery, located on the Travelers Rest property, was built by Bernhard in 1874. This two-story, stone structure measures twenty-five by sixty-four feet; its side walls are made from solid rock over two feet thick. No one knows where Bernhard came by his viticultural knowledge, but evidently he produced a good product and was well respected in the trade in California. He produced pure distilled alcohol, Claret, Sherry, Port Wine, Zinfandel Wine and Grape Brandy, the brandy being aged twenty years before being sold. The large iron door at the front of the building served as the loading dock for the winery, as it opens on the Auburn-Folsom Road which was once the main route to Sacramento. Although most of his customers were local, Bernhardís wines and brandy were delivered by team as far away as Carson City. Benjamin and his wife both died in 1902, after which the property was left to their surviving children. The buildings have been historically restored and are known today as the Bernhard Museum Complex. The interior of the hotel has been furnished to an 1880-90ís decor completely with donated items, as none of the Bernhardís possessions survived over the years. The museum is staffed by the Placer County Museum Docent Guild and provides a fascinating look at the life of a nineteenth century farm family.

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