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Salmon Creek Map

The Salmon Creek watershed drains about 35 square miles of western Sonoma County and includes the town of Freestone. In the early 1800s, Russian immigrants grew grain in the Freestone area to supply their settlement at Fort Ross. American settlement later led to logging of the redwood forest, the North Coast Pacific Railroad line, and additional agriculture. Today, the primary land uses in the watershed are for rural residences, rangeland, and some commercial vineyards. The town of Freestone retains a 19th century charm and is a historic district.

North Coast Pacific Railroad train
stopping in Freestone

Enrolled Sites:

Joseph Phelps Vineyards-Freestone Vineyard Estate
In the Salmon Creek drainage, on 100 acres of rolling hills once planted in apple orchards, this 50-acre vineyard incorporates biodynamic farming principals like composting, recycling nutrients, carefully managed irrigation, the use of cover crops, owl boxes to encourage raptors that control rodents, and non-toxic biological field and foliar sprays. With a goal of reducing irrigation needs, they have begun dry farming a portion of the vineyard and hope to dry farm the rest of the vineyard when the vines mature. Visit and

Salmon Creek is visible at the base
of the sloping vineyard at Freestone Vineyards.

Sheep nibble on grass cover crops amongst the vines as part of biodynamic management practices.

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