Korbel Champagne Cellars
Korbel California Champagne: Home to amazing history, tours, Champagne, still wines and brandies…and Deli! (Facebook photo.)
My shot just the other day…Spring is overtaking winter; the Korbel Gardens will open for tours this week.
Korbel Champagne Cellars, a name surely synonymous with American Celebration, is a gorgeous spot in the redwoods, surrounded by estate vineyards, including very historical buildings, accessible history, delicious Deli and tours that are captivating, ending with Champagne tastings in the elegant TR. During the warmer months, the Gardens may also be toured. The Korbel Family, true entrepreneurs in every sense of the word, made the most of everything they touched. I caught an early afternoon tour, starting in the old Korbel Railroad building, the last vestige of the railroad the family built to ship their redwood lumber to San Francisco. Check out the family photos; I love how they cleared the land, tried plums, grapes, cows for dairy, hops- innovative and pragmatic to find what worked best in this fertile, river location: Champagne Grapes! And, as they say, the rest is history! We saw a bit of the grounds, then headed down into the cellars, for a great video (very Soaring over California in feeling- a great sense of history and place very well produced and delivered), a view of the museum, artifacts and photos, then on into the cellars to learn about the huge wine casks, riddling, disgorgement, corks, tastes- well, everything you need to know about Korbel Champagne.
The Korbel Brothers, left to right, Joseph, Anton, Francis. This photo was snapped back in the mid-1800′s, not on my recent visit. Amazing photos to check out; love it!
The approach off River Road….
Springtime garden glory on the approach to Korbel winery from the visitor parking lot….
I cannot get enough of the historical architecture! This building sported actual armed gun turrets at one point, this location being in the middle of nowhere at one time…on the frontier! Fire and the ’06 Earthquake cannot daunt this lovely edifice. My Grandfather was born in 1886….
The Korbel RR Station…Disney borrowed heavily from this historical sort of edifice for Disneyland RR stations….
Just behind the little depot, lovely flowers cascade…even early in the season, the loving attention to detail in Korbel grounds and gardens is evident.
View from behind the depot building, under the redwood tree.
Looking up at the historical redwood tree…wow….
A Fairy Circle of redwoods nearby.
Scoping out the vanished, obsolete gunner turrets.
The recreated, exact replication of the prison tower that figured prominently in the Korbel story- learn about it in the tour video…damaged in the big one in 1906, but reinforced internally.
The Tower immortalized in the Korbel museum.
Walls of Korbel Champagne bottles….
As I mentioned, great historical archives…history truly comes alive at Korbel.
One of my favorite Korbel pieces- we have it at the Wine Road World HQ, too.
Heading down cellar….amazing!
Wow! Huge, impressive, unexpected….
This place is built to last….
Wow- history in the making! See the wooden candle-holders for the cellar workers? Korbel later innovated an automated riddling “machine” that revolutionized the way the Methode Champenoise sparklers are produced….
Mr. DeMille’s closeup of the candle holder….
A sea of Champagne bottles in the cellars….Love the history, the dust, the magic of the Korbel Bubbles!
The Korbel-innovated riddling process….goodbye carpal tunnel syndrome!
Clever riddler…riddle me this, Batman, riddle me that!
Walls of case boxes…
On the left, the World’s Largest Crystal Champagne Glass, on the right, a mighty big bottle of Korbel created for the 2000 New Year…not sure what Biblical moniker corresponds to this size bottle….
Awkward for toasting. Maybe better for swimming.
Large romantic gesture, yet very impractical. (Also a description of my actions….)
Another great photo: The days of old….see the RR tracks?
The elegant, chandelier-bedecked TR. Redwood ceilings….
The Korbel homestead.
The route to the secret, gorgeous Korbel gardens….
There is magic at Korbel; they have it all! I am also intrigued by some of the still wine varietals made from tiny lots of left-over juice from their Champagne production- very small lots that are reserved exclusively for the Wine Club, just like joining the family. I loved my visit!
Here’s looking at you, kids.