Beaulieu Vineyard was established in 1900 by Georges de Latour and his wife Fernande when they purchased 4 acres in Rutherford, California. The winery derives its name from the french phrase "Quel beau lieu" which translated to english means "What a beautiful place". Legend has it that Fernande uttered these words when she first saw the land. The following year, they purchased a nearby winery originally built by California State Senator Seneca Ewer in 1885. Georges' knowledge about phylloxera which at the time had ravaged many of Napa Valley's vineyards and his decision to import a rootstock variety resistant to the pest helped cement his stature as one of the early pioneers of California's wine industry.
When Prohibition in the United States began in 1920, most wineries in the country were forced out of operation. However, Beaulieu obtained a contract to supply sacramental wine to churches across the country. The demand for such wine increased dramatically during the years of Prohibition and the winery repeatedly expanded. By the Repeal of Prohibition in 1933, production had grown to over one million gallons per year.
Following Repeal of Prohibition, Beaulieu hired Andre Tchelistcheff from France as winemaker and the quality of its wines increased significantly. Tchelistcheff also became a mentor to other important winemakers such as Mike Grgich (whose Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won the Judgment of Paris, Joe Heitz of Heitz Wine Cellars, and Robert Mondavi. By the 1940s, Beaulieu wines were served at all major White House functions.