It has become, if not one of the rites, then certainly one of the signals of spring in Sonoma County: the opening of Korbel Champagne Cellars’ garden.
In 2013, that opening takes place today.
Long-time wine writer colleague Margie Healy did a masterful job of describing the scene in a media release, so let’s turn the screen over to her for a moment…
Towering redwoods and the historic circa 1882 Korbel House provide the backdrop for a tapestry of colorful plantings, including 250 rose varieties. One of Sonoma County’s top visitor destinations, Korbel Garden dazzles visitors while quietly showcasing some of the sustainable practices Korbel Champagne Cellars uses in its vineyards.
The reason for Korbel Garden’s popularity is simple: it is truly beautiful. Winding footpaths lead to vibrant plantings of coleus, pincushion plants, agapanthus, irises, dahlias and—of course—roses, all framed by box hedges, clematis, plume poppies and a 30-foot-tall climbing hydrangea.
Thanks, Margie. And while the garden is undeniably gorgeous, let’s not overlook the sustainable practices that help make it that way:
- Rich, natural compost, made from vineyard waste and worked into the garden beds, produces strong plants and big, brilliant blooms.
- Low-flow drip irrigation, calibrated to each planting and operated only at night, reduces water and energy use.
- Integrated pest management, with beneficial bugs and nematodes, eliminates dependence on chemical pesticides.
- Inclusion of drought-resistant native California plants adds to the garden’s rich palette while reducing water consumption.
For anyone interested in sustainable farming… or anyone with a camera in search of a gorgeous photo-opp… the Korbel Garden is a must-see on any North Coast wine country trip.
Free guided tours are offered everyday except Monday at 1 and 3 p.m., through mid-October. You can read more about the garden, and this historic winery, here.