The California sparkling wine house is located in Guerneville in California Sonoma County
(Region North Coast
) near the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1882 by Frantissek (Francis) Korbel (1830-1920), born in South Bohemia, and his two brothers Anton and Joseph. They had been farming on the property since 1870 and, to a small extent, viticulture. Now the focus was entirely on wine and vineyards with Pinot Noir were created, a variety that was unusual for California at that time. Initially, only still wine was produced, but from 1890 “champagne” was also produced. The business boomed and around 1900 Korbel champagne became internationally known. The company also survived prohibition
(1920-1933) and remained in the family until 1954. This year he was bought by Adolf Heck, whose father immigrated from Alsace at the turn of the century. He started to manufacture the products more in the "California style", that is, more fruity and with less yeast. In 1982 Adolf Heck's son Gary took over the management of the company. In 1998 Korbel became the winery Kenwood
bought, but both companies were taken over by the Anheuser-Busch beer group in 2002.
The company's own vineyards cover 240 hectares in the AVA area Russian River Valley
, however, an additional 800 hectares of grapes are purchased. Korbel is the leading sparkling wine house in California
and is one of the best-selling champagne brands in the United States. Traditionally, "Korbel Champagne" is served on many official occasions, for example at several Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004) or at the inauguration celebrations of the US Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (The "Special Inaugural Cuvée" was created for this). The brands are Chardonnay, Rouge (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon), Natural (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay), Brut (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, French Colombars), Rosé (Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc, French Colombard), Blanc de Noirs (Pinot Noir), Blanc de Blancs and Le Premier (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay). Around 1.5 million boxes (18 million bottles) of sparkling wine are produced annually. At the turn of the millennium, a proud record was set in 2000. For the countless celebrations, Korbel sent almost 1.7 million boxes of sparkling wine. It also produces brandies (ranked 4th in the US) and table wines.