Three top destinations team up to show the green side of Glen Ellen.
Benziger Family Winery, Quarryhill Botanical Garden and Jack London State Park are all stops in the Glen Ellen Green Tour, an in-depth look at three beautiful destinations with a shared commitment to environmental practices.
Each stop includes a docent-led tour, but don’t fear the tedious, TMI lecture that will drone you to sleep on your feet.
The pace will keep it moving with time to take in the natural unpolished beauty of the northern Sonoma Valley.
The tour starts at 10:30 a.m at Quarryhill, a 25-acre natural garden grown from seeds collected in the wilds of Asia. Winding paths pass among flowering shrubs and exotic trees. Begun in 1987, the sprawling garden set among the ponds of an old quarry, is a preserve for rare and endangered plants.
At noon the tour stops by Jack London State Historic Park, where a picnic lunch will be served followed by a guided tour focusing on the innovative farming practices of London’s “Beauty Ranch” as well as a look inside the cottage where he lived with his wife Charmian and wrote many of his famous novels.
The tour ends at Benziger Family Winery, for a close-up look at their Biodynamic vineyards, fermentation facility, crush pad and barrel caves. It ends with a special wine tasting.
At $59, the 4 1/2 hour tour, which includes lunch, is a fair deal, even for locals, when you consider the cost of visiting each site individually: $15 for a guided tour of Quarryhill, $14 for parking and admission to the cottage at Jack London, without a tour, and $25 for a basic tour and tasting at Benziger. (Try finding lunch in Glen Ellen for $5).
Reservations must be made two weeks in advance. You can make a lunch selection when you book. There are three choices, including a vegetarian option. Book at jacklondonpark.com.