Do you love the Redwoods? Do you love wine and visiting wineries? This article will show you where the vineyards meet the Redwoods. Combine a trip that captures both your pleasures. Oh, yes, good food is always nearby. On a trip to Northern California, travelers have plenty of choices for capturing the beauty and wonder of Coastal Redwoods, while at the same time enjoying wine country activities.
Vineyards and Redwoods Together
The Coastal Redwoods depend upon the fog bank that forms along the Pacific Coast from the Monterey area to the Northern border of California. Fog equals cool climate temperatures. Wherever Redwood trees thrive, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Alsatian varieties of grapes also thrive. In Part One of this series, we detail the Redwood and vineyard country of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County.
Russian River Valley – Sonoma County
The Russian River Valley AVA is home to many wineries producing quality wines from this cool-climate region. The Pacific Ocean and the waters from the Russian River provide a daily dose of morning fog to the area. It’s the perfect environment for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Redwoods love this environment. The Redwoods have, of course, been here long before the first grape vines were sowed. There are many places to view vineyards and Redwoods together, but we will focus on two areas.
Korbel Champagne Cellars
One of the fun wineries that has a connection with Redwood Trees is Korbel Champagne Cellars. The Korbel Brothers originally made cigar boxes from the Redwood Trees. Later, they cleared the Redwood Forest in front of the property and planted the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes needed to make sparkling wine. The Korbel winery began in 1852, and it is a historic fixture on River Road. It is one of my favorite places to visit. We love the atmosphere and magic of this beautiful brick building. By the way, the inside structure is all Redwood. You can visit the winery and see the magnificent Redwood Trees that surround the winery. Korbel is at 13250 River Road, just a few miles east of the town of Guerneville.
Armstrong Grove State Park in Guerneville
Not too far away from Korbel is one of the more fantastic groves of Redwood Trees at the Armstrong Grove State Park. An easy loop trail takes you through thick groves of tall and ancient Redwoods. It is a magical experience. For the more adventurous, try one of the many longer hikes in the park that will give you lasting pleasures of the amazing Coastal Redwoods.
Occidental Area – lots of wineries, lots of Redwoods
Occidental is a quiet town nestled in Redwood country. Several backroads lead to beautiful views of both vineyards and Redwoods. Read about our stay in Occidental. This area is the heart of the Russian River Valley AVA. Check out our Wine Trail in this area. This photo shows vineyards belonging to Miramar Estate Vineyards and Winery. Miramar Torres is the proprietor, and a member of the famous Torres Family of Spain. The Pinot Noir wines are terrific. The winery is on Graton Road near the tiny town of Graton. Graton has three terrific places to dine. We love exploring the backroads in this area of the Russian River Valley. One backroad leads to another, and around each bend there is something exciting to see or do. Check out the map below.
Next up, in our series of Where Vineyards Meet the Redwoods is the Santa Cruz Mountain Area.