From Mendocino, exploring Anderson Valley is a fun day trip. Getting there on Highway 128, you drive through some incredible California redwood trees.
Boonville is the largest city in the valley. It has a small main street, with shops, galleries, tasting rooms, restaurants and a great boutique hotel. Our top finds include:
Boonville General Store Cafe, Bakery & Deli: This small cafe offers organic food for breakfast and lunch. They offer sandwiches, soups, salads and pizza. I enjoyed lunch of a Moroccan chicken dish with two salads. 14077 Highway 128.
Mosswood Market, Cafe and Bakery: At 14111 Hwy. 128, this is a fun cafe for a coffee or bakery treat.
Paysanne: This is a small cafe featuring great organic ice cream, tea, coffee drinks, bakery items, candy, crepes and more. 14111 Hwy. 128. It is the perfect spot for a break from a day of wine tasting in the valley.
Boonville Hotel: This is a small boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Boonville. They call themselves a Modern Roadhouse. The rooms are charming and the restaurant is considered the best in town. They also have a lovely garden for outdoor dining and have several cottages for use. 14050 Highway 128.
Farmhouse Mercantile: This is a store with great design in the heart of Boonville, at 14111 Highway 128, featuring items for the home and body. They are owned by the same people as the Philo Apple Farm which offers a farm stand, lovely cottages to stay in, cooking classes and farm weekends.
Foursight Wines: This is a small, family owned winery in Boonville. They are known for their pinot noirs. The tasting room was closed when I was in town, but it is open Friday to Monday for most of the year. 14475 Hwy 128.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company: Just outside of Boonville is this large microbrewery where you can take tours and visit their large taproom. They produce a number of ales, IPAs and stouts. I thought the best was the Boont Amber Ale which is their signature beer. 17700 Hwy. 253 just north of Hwy 128.
A short distance from Boonville is the Yorkville Highlands Appellation which is situated between the Anderson Valley and the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County. If you have time, you might try Maple Creek Winery and Meyer Family Cellars which are both recommended.
West of Boonville is the small town of Philo. Here you will find:
Roederer Estate: At 4501 Highway 128 in Philo CA, this is a winery specializing in sparkling wines. They also feature a pinot noir rose, a chardonnay and a pinot noir. I really enjoyed their award winning Brut Rose MV. Nearby is their sister winery Scharffenberger Cellars, which also specializes in sparkling wines. 8501 Hwy 128.
You might check out the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival held in May featuring tastings, wine dinners and other events.
The Madrones: This is a lovely complex of nine elegant guest rooms, wine tasting rooms and a well-known restaurant. The tasting rooms include Drew, Bink, Knez Winery and Signal Ridge Vineyard. 9000 Highway 128.
Knez is known for its pinot noir.
Bink Wines: I tasted their Lumineux Merlot Rose and their award winning Anderson Valley pinot noir. My favorite was the pinot. 9000 Hwy 128 in Philo.
Stone & Embers is a local farm-to-table restaurant that gets good press. They feature seafood, pizza and other entrees. I was sorry that is was closed on the day I was there.
Drew Family Cellars: This is a family owned winery that specializes in syrahs and pinot noirs. I enjoyed their Gatekeepers Pinot Noir and their Valenti Ranch Syrah. Their home and winery is near Elk, southwest of Philo.
Signal Ridge: Next to Bink is the Signal Ridge Tasting Room. Here you can try a local cider as well as their sparkling, white and red wines. I enjoyed their Watchtower pinot noir.
Other tasting rooms nearby include:
Balo Vineyards: They are known for their pinot noirs. They have lovely grounds and a tasting room. I thought the pinot was excellent. 9001 Highway 128.
Lula Cellars: They are known for their pinot noirs and zinfandel. Their award winning Mendocino Costa Vineyard Pinot was very good. 2800 Guntley.
If you are in the area in May, then Cinema in the Vineyards is a fun event in several of the Philo wineries and tasting rooms.
A Chicago friend in the wine business also recommends Toulouse Vineyards and joined their wine club. 8001 Highway 128. They enjoyed the wines and did the same at Navarro Vineyards located at 5601 Highway 128.