Where To Taste: Mendocino/Anderson Valley
On a beautiful crisp November weekend we trekked out to Mendocino to celebrate one of my best gal friends birthday! I figured that gave me a perfect opportunity to update you all on the BEST of Mendocino and a few spots you need to include on your next visit to the coast!
1. Knez Winery - located in the Madrones center, which also includes: Bink Wines and Drew Family Cellars - GREAT hard cider at Drew for those that love that sorta thing. Knez wines were our favorite surprise of the day. Their Winemaker was trained at William Selyem before Knez, so you know they've got the recipe down for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay's, which comprise the majority of wines produced by Knez, however for those seeking a bolder red, they make a beautiful Syrah! Be sure to make a stop there on your way to the coast!
2. Navarro Winery and Vineyards - When most people think of Mendocino it pretty much coincides when them thinking of Navarro Winery....they have been growing grapes and making wine since 1974 and are quite famous for their dry and sweet Rieslings, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and basically just everything they make...the only reason they are #2 is because we ADORED the hospitality at Knez via Margaret - who is an amazing host. Navarro was great too, but we just really connected with Knez and what they are doing. That doesn't mean I didn't leave Navarro with a case of wine.....just saying - its the good stuff!
3. Roederer Estate - The best sparkling wines around....some of my favorites regardless of what I can get here in Napa or Sonoma. Make sure to visit on a warm sunny day. They sit upon a hill and the views are gorgeous of the rolling vineyards. Bring cheese from local dairy Penny Royal and eat it with your L'Ermitage Brut ☺️! A perfect day!
I honestly was very pleasantly surprised with how many epic brands we found in Mendocino, I guess I didn't realize how popular this area was for wine tasting (kicking myself for waiting so long to discover it!!)! The best part of Mendocino, you have vineyards and the ocean within 30 minutes....oh and a dreamy redwood forest you get to drive through to get there!
4. Goldeneye Winery - Probably one of the more famous and well known brands of Mendocino and Anderson Valley, connected and owned by the same group who owns Duckhorn and Paraduxx Wineries in the Napa Valley. Goldeneye has been the gold standard (pun definitely intended) of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir since I was able to drink (for those that don't know I am 30 years old....so about 9 years of experience in wine country...legal experience at least ;))...If you are looking for some solid wines and a great winery tour, definitely keep this oldie on your list!
5. Toulouse Vineyards - Open since the mid 1990's, Toulouse Vineyards have been pumping out some amazing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and sweet Riesling (all of their whites are currently SOLD OUT on their site...so if that doesn't give you a hint to their amazing quality!). They are tucked back into a hilly area with gorgeous views of the back country of Philo.
Mendocino is not a place I would suggest as a day trip since the drive can be quite far depending where you are coming from, with that in mind, definitely rent a house or check out the local B&B's....I personally recommend "The Mallory House" at The Little River inn
There are not many grocery stores or restaurants around, so come prepared to cook at home and or check out one of the local restaurants....we personally enjoyed Wild Fish
Thanks for reading...I hope this helps on your next adventure!