The Balsam Hill Traveler: Celebrating Christmas in Sun-kissed Sonoma
Much like an artist’s masterpiece, Sonoma County features a rich blend of colors bursting with life. The vast sun-kissed plains and magnificent evergreen forests are further highlighted by the vibrancy of the cerulean ocean coasts. This famed California valley – referred to as the birthplace of the California Wine Industry – has long offered an excellent sanctuary for people who seek a relaxing and invigorating holiday.
In our ongoing series on Christmas trees, the Balsam Hill Traveler comes home to the warmth and splendor of the California coast. Join us as we indulge in the natural beauty of Sonoma, one of the places that inspired our artisan trees.
The Sun-kissed Shores of the Sonoma Coast
As one of the coastal regions of California, part of the county of Sonoma occupies an interesting area in the Golden State landscape. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Sonoma and Mayacamas mountain ranges, Sonoma is located on rich and fertile ground with mild climate and much sunshine.
These favorable qualities make the county one of the most suitable places for wine-making, similar to the adjacent Napa Valley. In fact, around 60,000 acres of Sonoma are dedicated to 370 wineries and vineyards, which in turn produce some of the best wines in the world.
Inland to the Sonoma Valley
Another feature that Sonoma shares with fellow West Coast states is its distinctive winters without snow. California’s sunny climate dominates the valley, making it extremely rare for any snowfall except in the higher elevations on and around the Mayacamas Mountains.
Although some may view Sonoma’s snowless winters as a disadvantage for celebrating the Christmas holidays, it does have its advantages. Christmas lights and festivals in the area bring a great celebration. The temperate air is perfect for putting up lights without freezing your hands.
The Elegant Spanish Colonial Revival Houses of Sonoma City
To reflect the warmer atmosphere in the valley, houses in Sonoma County are designed in styles similar to Europe’s Mediterranean villas. One popular design is the great Spanish Colonial Revival.
Initiated by architects Carleton Winslow and Bertram Goodhue, Spanish Colonial Revival designs combine elements from Spanish Baroque, Moorish Revival, Mexican Churrigueresque, and Spanish Colonial architecture. It was conceptualized to be the dominant style in California.
Spanish Colonial Revival houses are marked by the extensive use of stucco (smooth plaster) wall and chimney finishes. They also feature flat clay tile roofs and unique terracotta wall accents. Interiors usually display heavily carved wooden furniture, plush carpets, and ornate wrought-iron chandeliers to create a cozy and relaxing ambiance, especially during the holidays.
California’s Magnificent Redwoods
Sonoma County is also famous as the home of California’s magnificent redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). These colossal trees, which can grow up to hundreds of feet in height, thrive in the vast landscapes of the valley. Most of the well-known redwoods are found in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. These include the Parson Jones Tree, which is the tallest redwood in the reserve, the Colonel Armstrong Tree, which is the oldest of the trees, and the Icicle Tree, which displays an unusually shaped burl.
Considered one of the state’s most precious natural wonders, California redwoods are admired for their majestic beauty. While their massive size makes it difficult for redwoods to become ideal live Christmas trees, some artificial holiday trees have been designed to mimic the likeness and elegance of the real redwood tree.
Balsam Hill’s Napa Christmas® Artificial Christmas Trees
Infuse your holiday home with the artistry and brilliance of Balsam Hill’s premier Napa Christmas® Artificial Christmas Trees. Crafted with our True Needle™ technology, this collection of artisan holiday trees is designed to add the natural charm of California’s lush forests to your space. You can also recreate the sweet fragrance of fresh Christmas trees with our scented ornaments.
For a holiday tradition reminiscent of Christmas on the West Coast, adorn your home with our Sonoma Slim Pencil Tree from our Napa Christmas Signature Collection. You can also choose from our popular Silverado Slim™, BH Noble Fir®, and California Baby Redwood® to complement the warmth of your holiday home. An ideal centerpiece for any type of home design, our Balsam Hill Napa Christmas artificial trees highlights the same sophisticated appeal of Northern California.