The weather is not perfect in January for exploring the Anderson Valley.. Could be nice. Could be rainy. Could be snowing. We got the rain and a hit of snow this visit however, in any weather, this valley is gorgeous.
We drove from the Sierra Foothills to the Anderson Valley. There is a route between the two around Clear Lake. We opted for the quicker route through Sacramento west to 101 and up.
Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley
We stayed at the south end of the valley at the Boonville Hotel. Accommodations are in the hotel and in cottages on the grounds. The grounds are extensive and appeared to have lovely outdoor facilities for use in good weather.
Our cottage at the Boonville Hotel
We dined our first night at the hotel sharing a wonderful 2014 Navarrouge from Navarro Vineyards. It’s Navarro’s house red. They coin it “gluggable” as it is intended to be enjoyable upon release.
Apple orchards still dot the landscape in the valley
This was our third visit to the valley so we were looking to try some of the newer wineries to the area. Witching Stick was a truly pleasant find.
Winemaker, owner, Van Williamson was on hand to pour. He had a full line up of his wines to taste. Our two favorites and the favorites it seemed of everyone tasting with us were the 2015 Zinfandel Rosato and the 2013 Fashauer Vineyard Zinfandel.
Domaine Anderson was another stop. Owned by the Roederer family, the property was purchased and vines planted in 2009. They produce still wines – Pinot and Chardonnay.
Sheep tending the vineyard at Domaine Anderson
Stone and Embers is a new dining spot in mid valley open for lunch. Very popular with exceptional pizzas and a terrific starter on the menu of a bowl of olives served hot in oil and spices.
Toulouse was another stop on our visit.
While there are images of geese everywhere, the lively bird in the tasting room is of a different variety……….
Their Pinot was a good find.
We stopped in to Lichen, formerly Breggo Cellars. We did visit on a previous trip but the change to Lichen who, is now making the wine, brought us back. You can read Lichen’s story. It’s interesting!
We had a terrific visit, with a great host. I rather liked the sparkling wine they are producing from pinot gris grapes called Blanc De Gris.
Hard to miss the Navarro General Store at the north end of the valley
It’s a great wine region to discover, or rediscover, and its close to the coast for combining with a trip to Sea Ranch or Mendocino. If you go, it is definitely a bit tough to find dining choices in the valley off season. There are not many to begin with, and a number of them take a break in the winter.
Van Williamson Witching Stick Wines Deborah, Enjoyed your wine and travel blog. Please stop in again on one of your visits to the Anderson Valley. It was funny how everyone liked the same wines that day. The Zinfandel is always near the top in the monthly sales but usually is followed by one of our Pinot noirs and Chardonnay. Thanks again, Van