One of the reasons we put the winery underground.
Many of you have probably seen pictures of the entrance to our cave winery. Making the entire facility underground we were able to preserve the native beauty of the mountainside. Below are some interesting native plants surrounding the winery which we often receive questions about on tours. The next time you visit the winery you can identify them yourself.
Strawberry Bush (Arbutus unedo)
The Strawberry Bush puts on a colorful show in the fall. It produces masses of drooping, pink-tinged white flowers, while fruit from the previous year ripens in stages from yellow, to orange and finally to crimson. The fruit has a unique roughly textured skin which protects the soft strawberry-apricot flavored fruit inside.
Monkey Flower (Mimulus aurantiacus)
The charming saffron colored flowers of this bush are said to actually move. When a bee, moves into the throat of the flower to get nectar, the stigma (the sticky receiver of pollen) closes up so that the flower’s own pollen won’t get stuck on it.
California Poppy (Eschscholtzia califronica)
Early sailors are said to have nicknamed California La Tierra del Fuego, or “Land of Fire,” for the rolling foothills carpeted with saffron colored poppies. It is only fitting that the California Poppy is our state flower.
Blue Lupin (Lupinus grayii)
This charming purple-blue perennial wild flower grows in great profusion in the early spring alongside the poppies and literally blankets the hillside in orange and blue.
Howard McMinn Manzanita (Arctostraphylos densiflora)
Laden with oodles of pink flowers in the spring, this shrub is loved by hummingbirds, honey bees and butterflies. It’s crimson bark is a bright contrast to it’s dark green foliage.
Madrone (Arbutas menziesii)
This stately evergreen tree is a study in color contrast with it’s bright red peeling bark. It’s red edible berries are a favorite of the birds.
California Bay Laurel (Umbellularia californica)
The Greek Olympics used the Laurel to crown the winners. The leaves of the California type are much stronger and can also be used in cooking, but sparingly. The local Indians used them in their acorn granaries to ward off weevels.