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Kunde Vineyard & Caves
Chateau St. Jean entrance
Sonoma Valley Map
Glen Ellen is an unincorporated area in the northern half of the Sonoma Valley, also known as the Valley of the Moon.
Scroll down for a map of Sonoma County. Use the blue column links, right side, to visit other areas in the wine country or to tour San Francisco.
Glen Ellen area Wineries
There are many picturesque wineries in the Glen Ellen and Kenwood areas of the Sonoma Valley.
Follow the links in in the left hand column for pictures and panoramas of several wineries; Benziger Family Winery where the Glen Ellen Brand was introduced in 1982 - and sold in 1993 so that the family run winery could focus on premium wine, Chateau St. Jean Winery - first vintage 1974, St. Francis Winery - growing wine grapes since 1971, making wine since 1979, Ledson Winery & Vineyard whose Sonoma Valley landmark winery is known as "Ledson Castle" and Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyards where the Kunde family has been growing grapes and making wine since 1904.
A Brief History of Glen Ellen
The Glen Ellen area was almost certainly a popular location for Native Americans with plenty of evidence of numerous villages.
Written history of Glen Ellen begins with a grant deedpart of the Agua Caliente Ranchoacquired from Lazaro Pina by General Mariano Vallejo in 1829. General Vallejo gave 2 1/2 leagues (approximately 8 square miles) to his children's pianoforte (similar to a piano) music teacher in 1846.
In 1858, Colonel Charles V. Stuart, purchased the land and named his ranch Glen Ellen in honor of his wife, Ellen. The village that grew near the ranch also came to be called Glen Ellen, so to avoid confusion the name of the ranch was changed to Glen Oaks. The Glen Oaks Ranch, located on Highway 12 just east of Glen Ellen, is now on the National Register of Historical Landmarks.
Joshua Chauvet established the first grain mill, the first lumberyard, brickyard and hotel in Glen Ellen in the 1800s. Hotel Chauvet is still in existence. Chauvet planted grapes and began producing wine and brandy in 1875. Today the original grain mill houses the Glen Ellen Winery and History Center.
Some vines at Kunde Estate Winery and Vineyards are over 100 years old. Learn more about the history of wine caves, like the wine storage and dinning cave at Kunde, in my illustrated article on Touring Wine Caves and Champagne Cellars.
Glen Ellen's first post office was established in July 1871. Once railroad service was available to Sonoma County in the 1880's, San Franciscans began spending their summers in Glen Ellen to escape the cold and fog in The City.
Jack London lived, farmed and wrote in Glen Ellen from 1905 until his death in 1916. He and his second wife built a dream home which London called Wolf House, only to have it burn down the day before they planned to move in. Jack London State Historic Park was created in 1959 with about 40 acres of London's 1,400-acre Beauty Ranch.
One of Jack London's books "Valley of the Moon" is named for the section of the Sonoma Valley around Glen Ellen with the same name. Father Jose Altimira called the area around San Francisco de Solanothe mission he founded in what is now Sonoma"The Valley of the Moon", after the Native American observation that the moon in winter made seven successive appearances between distant mountains.
Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher wrote twenty-six books about food, travel and family. M. F. K. Fisher as she was known died at her home in Glen Ellen in 1992.
Today many permanent residents of Glen Ellen are 3rd and 4th generation descendents of the original settlers. Many are winery owners or otherwise involved in the wine industry.
Learn about Glen Ellen Museums.
For an experience you'll always remember take our California Wine Tours.