The Californian sparkling wine house is located in Guerneville in California's Sonoma County
region) 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 and, to a lesser extent, viticulture on the property since 1870. Now they concentrated fully on wine and planted vineyards with Pinot Noir, an unusual variety for California at that time. In the beginning only still wine was produced, but from 1890 on also "Champagne". The business took a big boom and around 1900 Korbel-Champagne was internationally known. The company also survived the prohibition
(1920-1933) and remained in the family until 1954. In that year it was bought by Adolf Heck, whose father had immigrated from Alsace at the turn of the century. He began to make the products more in the "California style", i.e. more fruity and with less yeast. In 1982 Adolf Heck's son Gary took over the management of the company. In 1998 Korbel bought the Kenwood
winery, but already in 2002 both companies were taken over by the beer company Anheuser-Busch
The company's own vineyards cover 240 hectares in the AVA area Russian River Valley
, but an additional 800 hectares of grapes are purchased from additional vineyards. Korbel is the leading sparkling wine house in California
and is one of the best-selling sparkling wine brands in the USA using the champagne method. Traditionally, "Korbel Champagne" is served at many official occasions, for example at several Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004) or at the inauguration ceremonies of US Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (the "Special Inaugural Cuvée" was created for this purpose). 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 cases (18 million bottles) of sparkling wine are produced annually. On the occasion of the turn of the millennium, a proud record was set in 2000. For the countless celebrations, Korbel shipped almost 1.7 million cases of sparkling wine. Wine spirits (ranked 4th in the US) and table wines are also produced.