Vineyards, vineyards… as far as the eye can see. As you travel down Sonoma County roads, it is nearly impossible to miss the rows of vines.
Whether driving down a residential street, heading up a mountain to the tasting room, or making your way through winding turns of back-country Sonoma, the views of vineyards abound. But…
… What ELSE do you really know about Sonoma County, California?
Fascinating Facts, Trivia & Dates In Sonoma County
Wine Country, California
DID YOU KNOW?
** If you were sick and hospitalized for one day in the Sonoma County Hospital in the year 1900, your bill would be only 34 cents for 24 hours. Take that Obamacare…
** It is the most diverse premium wine-grape growing region in the United States. In fact, it produces 6 percent of all the wine in California.
** In 1911, America’s First Official Air Mail Flight was completed from Petaluma to Santa Rosa on February 18th. Pioneer aviator, Fred J. Wiseman made the journey as the 1st “motorized” air mail flight in America carrying only 3 letters, along with 50 copies of The Press Democrat newspaper and some coffee.
** Thought of as the “worlds most exclusive men’s club”, the Bohemian Club was founded in 1872 by a small group of San Francisco locals. In 1898, the club purchased campgrounds named the Bohemian Grove where they still gather and use the property for weekend gatherings and annual retreats. Members include high ranking politicians, CEO’s, actors, professionals and board room chairman from around the world.
** The County lays claim to be the birthplace of California’s modern wine industry and has the state’s oldest commercial winery at Buena Vista and the oldest, continuously operating family winery at Gundlach-Bundschu.
** Volpi’s Grocery in Petaluma, was among the first businesses in Sonoma County to be issued a liquor license after prohibition and is STILL GOING STRONG! During Prohibition, although no alcohol was produced on premises, Volpi’s was a place where one could still get a drink. When locals brought in their grocery list to be filled, they would pass the time waiting by having a drink in the back room.
** More than 7.4 million tourists visit Sonoma County Wine Country each year
** In 1958, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) had rights to land at the Head of Bodega Bay and began construction on the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States there in Sonoma County, CA. A landowner and many environmentalists objected, fought and sank the project which was halted in 1964. The beginnings of this excavation for the nuclear plant is still visible today and aptly named “Hole In The Head”.
**As early as 1920, Sonoma County was ranked as the eighth most agriculturally productive US county and a leading producer of hops, grapes, prunes, apples, and dairy and poultry products,largely due to the extent of available, fertile agricultural land in addition to the abundance of high quality irrigation water.
** In the election of 1864, Sonoma County was the only County in California to vote against Abraham Lincoln.
** In 2010 there were 493,285 Sonoma County residents, with Santa Rosa, the county seat, having the largest population of 163,436 people.
** The annual Sonoma County grape harvest is worth an estimated $200 million and represents 61 percent of the county’s total agriculture (Sonoma County Vintners).
** The Sonoma County Water Agency was created as a special district in 1949 by California Legislature to act as local sponsor for federal flood protection, known as the Russian River Project.
** More than 50% of the scenes shot for the popular movie “BottleShock” were actually shot in Sonoma County and 80% of the grapes that Chateau Montelena used to make the winning chardonnay over France’s best whites in the movie…and in real life… were actually grown in Sonoma County!