We went to Korbel (again) last fall, but the season got too late for publicizing the glory of their gardens. So with a few new stops, I can now show you Korbel Winery.
In the redwoods near Guerneville is Korbel Winery. (Sorry, can’t link to their website. It’s age screened. If you’re old enough go to korbel.com) The tour of the gardens around the original house the Korbel brothers shared starts at this pictured entrance. Garden tours are offered Tuesday through Sunday at 1pm and 3pm (mid-April through mid-October).
Depending on the time of year and who the tour guide is, you’ll get some family history and some plant identification. You don’t get inside the house, but you can rent the garden behind the house for special events.
The brothers came from Bohemia in the 1800s first harvesting lumber for the needy booming San Francisco and then went into dairy and prunes before growing grapes for winery opening in 1882. Within two years, they gave up the ranch and cows for wine grapes.
They specialize in ‘California style’ champagnes. But the gardens look pretty good even in the fall.
In a sunny spot-
Or a shady one-
Even the view from the parking lot looks good
Winery tours start at the former train depot. Tours are offered on the hour 11-3 and 3:45pm Monday thru Friday and 11am, 12pm, 12:45pm, 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 3pm, and 3:45pm on weekends and holidays.
I’m a fan of the deli, near the tasting room. Under the redwoods, it’s a good spot to stop on a hot day. (Opposite direction from this picture – isn’t there always one view missing?)
Directions: 12 miles west of Highway 101 at River Rd Exit. Open plateau of vineyards along the Russian River – winery on the hill side of the road.
See you in the garden or on the trail!
Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Mike Millar