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 California champagne using méthode champenoise process since 1882. In this process, champagne is fermented inside the same bottle from which it is served. The company is a division of F. Korbel Brothers, Inc., which also makes brandy and still wine


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 1984, 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" as part of the product description on some of its labels. In doing so, Korbel relies on a "semi-generic" provision for the use of this term under U.S. law,[2] using phrases like "California Champagne" and "Russian River Valley Champagne" on some of its labels. On its website, Korbel calls itself "producers of fine California méthode champenoise champagnes for 129 years".[3] Under European Union law, only wine from the Champagne wine region may use the terms “Champagne” or “méthode champenoise” on the wine label.

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 U.S.[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 U.S. 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