Last Fall I visited Campovida in Hopland to check it out not only as a potential wedding venue, but for myself, to settle my curiosities. I think the last time I was in Hopland was almost twenty years ago, maybe for a hops festival?
I absolutely fell in love with Campovida with its old barn, tangled secret gardens, and 500-plus year old tree. In all seriousness, you can rent the real estate around the tree for $500!
Campovida has always been in family hands, and has had its origins protected. It began in the mid 1800’s as part of a Mexican land grant, encompassing over 1,300 acres. In 1890 a timber baron purchased the land and developed the property as it exists today, constructing all of the buildings. In the 1940’s the land was acquired by a hop broker, and in 1958 Bernard Fetzer bought a home on the property and began growing grapes. His eleven children took over in 1981 after his death and created Fetzer Winery and eventually a world-renowned food and wine education center (Valley Oaks) and the organic gardens. Most recently, in 2010, Ann Beusdinck and Gary Breen took over as owners and Campovida became a community hub for Hopland as well as a prized destination event site.
While I was touring the property I was walking alongside another group of people, one whom worked for thirty years at the Fetzer Winery, so it was really interesting hearing his perspective on how the winery operated and of all that had remained untouched over the years. I think that’s what is most special about Campovida: you can sense the ancient quality of the trees and gardens that surround you; it almost feels antique.
I am working with a couple who I knew would really respond to Campovida. At first they passed due to a hesitation about the distance for their guests, primarily from North Carolina, to travel two hours north on 101 from San Francisco. But a few weeks went by and suddenly they motivated on their own and alerted me they were going up to see the property. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Rachel and Erik will celebrate their marriage here at Campovida on November 1, 2014. Today I went back through my photos to share them, and became curious of the date when I first visited – it was October 19, 2013, which means this is almost exactly the condition the gardens will be for their wedding this November. We cannot wait!