Growing grapes in the Russian River Valley is as close to heaven as mere mortals can get. Knowlton Farms and Vineyards (now operated as The Dalya Estate) is a part of all this, and borders on two world class grape appellations.
The approximately 6+ acre farm and vineyard is between the Green Valley and Russian River Valley Appellation of West Sonoma County, and located between the rural towns of Graton and Forestville. Red-tail hawks circling the vineyard hunting for gophers can turn west and fly over the Pacific Ocean in about 10-minutes. From San Francisco, the drive is approximately one hour and forty-five minutes northeast of the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The farm vineyard, two vacation guest homes and the big red barn rest on a sunny knoll facing southwest and overlooking the picturesque Green Valley.
Knowlton Farms, originally part of the El Molino Rancho dating back to the first Spanish land grants in early California, was later deeded to the mostly European, Italian and Portuguese farm families after land grant laws were passed in 1889.
The farm has been managed naturally and sustainably since 2003, and is engaged in a slow restoration using non-polluting and diverse soil building approaches to agriculture and multi-season cultivation. Under the expert viticulture guidance of Carmine Indindoli of Indindoli Family Vineyards, it is farmed individually, and vinified as a 'single vineyard.' Each season's harvest has been sold as vineyard designate since 2012 to local wineries.
In the early 2000's Dutton Ranch brothers Joe and Steve Dutton planted the specific root-stock and clone selection. The 18-month old vine cutting were purchased from Ernie Bowman at Vivo by Phillip Knowlton.
The estate produces several acres of sustainable farmed high quality chardonnay grapes, in mostly gold ridge soil. The soil is a sandy loam dirt with excellent soil drainage and is exquisitely balanced for the 101-14 Wenty Chardonnay grapes from the Reud clone.
All pruning, canopy management, irrigation and cover crop decisions are determined on a closely held basis, occasionally even on a vine-by-vine basis. The vines are farmed considering the good of the land, for the future generations of wine lovers, and to our children and yours to whom the land ultimately belongs.
In addition to the boutique vineyard, we have another 22 mixed stone fruit trees including the locally famous Gravenstein apple tree.
Knowlton Farms also cultivates an extensive flower and vegetable garden with organically grown vegetables sold directly to top rated and local family owned restaurants.
In additional to the seasonal crops, the garden area has created a botanical sanctuary for North American at-risk medicinal plants and provides protection and habitat for small wildlife.
The farm also hosts a plant conservation project using landscape designs for these mixed use habitats within vineyards as a key to the survival and renewal of endangered and at-risk medicinal plants.
The garden has been designated as a botanical sanctuary and habitat for these North American medicinal plants by (UPS) United Plant Savers.
Both farming and agriculture are derived from sustainable farming techniques of agro-ecology and the agricultural philosophy of permaculture and biodynamic farming. We use natural materials, and the produced compost that is our "fertilizer"
of choice to ensure maximum quality.
The following are examples of at-risk medicinal plant species that have successfully established permaculture, and were planted on the farm in 2005.
-Echinacea (Echinacea spp)
-Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)
-Trillium, Beth Root (Trillium spp.)
-Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)
Learn more about the farms agriculture: Soil and Climate at the Farm
To learn more about Phillip Knowlton Visit: www.phillipknowlton.com