Wine country visitors making their way from Calistoga to Alexander Valley and Healdsburg often lose track of where they are as they wind through rolling hills and manicured vineyards, navigating Highway 128. Lacking winery visitor centers, hotels, restaurants, or other conveniences for the traveler, these few miles of highway are often considered a scenic byway instead of one of the most unique wine-growing regions in the world. Enter Knights Valley, the best kept secret in Sonoma County every wine enthusiast should put on their radar.
Knights Valley, Sonoma County 1877
Nestled between the Mayacamas mountain range and the base of Mount St. Helena, narrow Knights Valley is the eastern-most, warmest AVA in Sonoma County. It is also one of the most pristine wine growing regions in California. Knights Valley has eschewed wine-tourism and commercial businesses, and unlike much of wine country, it has actually become more pastoral in the last century. With only 2,500 vineyard acres planted, and very few wine producers, Knights Valley has quietly developed a reputation for world-class wines.
In the mid-1850’s, Knights Valley was named for Thomas B. Knight, a fabled member of the Bear Flag Revolt. Kellogg was the jewel of Knights Valley, a small town with dreams of outshining its neighbor Calistoga, a mere 7-miles to the south. Boasting a post office, general store, schools and hotels, by 1912 the largest business in the valley was growing wine grapes. Shortly after that, prohibition decimated most of the economy of Knights Valley as the grapes could no longer be sold for winemaking. Fires in the mid-1960’s destroyed the few remaining structures, and thereafter Kellogg became a historical footnote.
In the 1970’s, buoyed by the burgeoning wine business of neighboring Napa Valley, landholders once again began developing vineyards. In 1983, Knights Valley became one of the original five sub-appellations of the newly minted Sonoma County AVA. Today, growing wine grapes is once again the biggest business in Knights Valley, but not much else has changed.
Knights Bridge Winery was established in Knights Valley in 2006 when several close-knit family members discovered 50 acres of hillside vineyards located on the southern boundary of the bucolic valley, the perfect location to produce exceptional grapes and outstanding wines. Rising from 300 to 900 feet in elevation on the rocky slopes of the Mayacamas mountain range, Knights Bridge Vineyard overlooks a spectacular display of rolling hills, steep mountains and gentle valleys. The valley’s mineral-rich volcanic soils are ideal for producing world class Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc; wines that consistently earn Knights Bridge acclaim from both critics and wine lovers alike. Utilizing a certified sustainable approach, Knights Bridge Vineyard is carefully farmed and shares open space with wildlife habitats and riparian corridors, helping preserve nature’s delicate balance.
With its diverse soils, varying elevations and several micro-climates, the wines of Knights Bridge are complex and distinctive, reflecting the sense of place that is uniquely Knights Valley. Each wine is produced in small lots, with overall production hovering around 2,000 cases per year. The majority of fruit cultivated by Knights Bridge is sold to other wineries and small producers, helping to further establish the storied reputation of Knights Valley wines. We invite you to enjoy our Knights Bridge wines and explore Knights Valley, the best kept secret in Sonoma County.
Angel Note: Find Knights Bridge Winery's 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon on Cellar Angels for a limited time and enjoy special pricing and proceeds to your favorite cause!