Korbel Champagne Cellars

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Korbel winery in Sonoma County.

Korbel Champagne Cellars is a winery based in Guerneville, California. Korbel primarily manufactures sparkling wine, and sells the largest volume of premium traditional Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine in the United States.[citation needed] The company is a division of F. Korbel Brothers, Inc., which also makes brandy and still wines.


Korbel was founded in 1882 by three Czechoslovak brothers named Korbel. It was purchased by Adolph Heck in 1954.[1] Heck's son, Gary, took over in 1974, and over time increased production from 150,000 to 1.3 million cases per year, making Korbel the twelfth largest wine producer in the United States as of 2011.[1]


Korbel California champagne.
Korbel Champagne on a shelf at the Korbel Champagne Cellars
Korbel Champagne on a shelf at the Korbel Champagne Cellars

Korbel uses the term "Champagne" on most of its labels. Whereas most other US producers identify their sparkling wine as such, and indicate the location where their grapes are produced, Korbel relies on a "semi-generic" provision under US law.[2] Whereas the term of "Champagne" should only be use for sparkling wines coming from the Champagne country in France. Korbel uses the term "California Champagne" and "Russian River Valley Champagne" on many of its labels. On its website, Korbel calls itself "producers of fine California méthode champenoise champagnes for 129 years."[3]

Korbel also produces brandy and still wines. Korbel-marketed wines include Kenwood, Valley of the Moon, Lake Sonoma Winery, and Pininfarina. F. Korbel & Bros. is a private company that is owned and operated by the Heck family. Brown-Forman distributes Korbel California Champagne widely in the US.[4]


Korbel sparkling wines have been served at six United States presidential inaugurations.[1] It was also one of the wines served on January 20, 2009, at the Congressional Inaugural Luncheon for US President Barack Obama.[5]

Korbel's brandy has a particularly strong following in the State of Wisconsin, where approximately 28% of Korbel's brandy production is consumed.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kevin Fagan (2009-08-30). "Family squabble tarnishes Korbel wine empire". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  2. ^ "USC 27cfr4.25 section 2"
  3. ^ Our Champagnes Korbel corporate website
  4. ^ "Brown-Forman Annual Report 2008"
  5. ^ Hulse, Carl (20 January 2009). "The Nation Awaits Its 44th President". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  6. ^ Minnich, Jerry (2006). The Wisconsin Almanac. Versa Press. p. 13. ISBN 1931599653. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°30′28″N 122°58′1″W / 38.50778°N 122.96694°W / 38.50778; -122.96694