Bidwell Creek Vineyard is located in Knights Valley in the Sonoma County AVA. Richly colored by California history, Knights Valley dates back to the era of Spanish land grants. The area was sparsely populated when Jose de los Santos Berryessa, a sergeant at the Presidio of Sonoma, was given the land as a gift from the Mexican Governor in 1843. He built an adobe hunting lodge that still exists today and named the area Rancho Mallacomes. In 1850, after the Mexican War, California became a United States territory and Berryessa lost possession of the land. Thomas Knight, a participant in the Bear Flag Revolt at Sonoma, purchased the northern portion of Rancho Mallacomes in 1853 and planted row crops, orchards and vineyards. He expanded the hunting lodge and was highly regarded by those in the area as a successful farmer. Although he owned the ranch for only 21 years, the area was renamed Knights Valley in his honor.
Knights Valley received significant recognition in the late 1870s and 1880s when author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “Silverado Squatters” in a cabin on Mount St. Helena overlooking Knights Valley. Shortly thereafter, the famous 19th century artist Thomas Hill honored Knights Valley and Mount St. Helena through a series of paintings on canvas.
Throughout its history, Knights Valley has remained an agricultural area and today is home to world-class wineries earning critical acclaim from wine critics and collectors alike.
In 2000, Norma and Lamar Hunt purchased a ranch along the banks of Bidwell Creek and began restoration of the site that would later become Bidwell Creek Estate and Vineyard. After restoring the riparian border along their stretch of Bidwell Creek and reinvigorating the Estate’s prime agricultural soils, they planted the first block of vineyard in 2002.