Wine tasting in Anderson Valley

Have you ever taken a trip that was so good, you forgot to take photos? We just spent a long weekend in Mendocino County, and that's exactly the kind of getaway it was—so relaxing, we were able to be present and not glued to our phones. (The fact that I didn't have cell reception 95% of the time definitely helped.) I meant for this post to be a sort of travel diary about our trip, but then I realized that I already did that two years ago when we went to Mendocino. Last time, we stayed in town; this time we were a bit south, in Little River, and we only went into Mendocino to grab meals (most of which were takeout, due to Covid restrictions). We also brought Zuni with us on this trip, which gave it a slightly different vibe; it was a little less romance and more quality family time. But since the air in the city has been thick with smoke for weeks due to the wildfires, we were thrilled to get out of our apartment, into the fresh, clean, coastal air. The one day we did take photos was when we went a bit inland to the town of Philo, which is where many of the Anderson Valley wineries are located. Here's where we ate and drank. 

Sonoma County, which is just 45 minutes outside of San Francisco (hence why I go there so frequently!), is known for pinot noir, however I actually prefer the pinots of Anderson Valley, which is located along Route 128, between the town of Boonville and the Pacific Coast. Warm, sunny days and cool, foggy nights keep the grapes from getting too sugary, so it's the ideal setting to grow pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, which make excellent sparkling wine as well. My favorite bubbles stop is Roderer, however we decided to try Scharffenberger this time, which is owned by Roderer. Their wines are more approachable and the vibe of the tasting room (technically all outdoors at the moment) is definitely more low-key. I recommend starting the day with bubbles—it's lower in sugar (and alcohol) than other wines, so it's a nice way to ease into your tastings. 

It's also important to have something in your stomach while wine tasting, so we made sure to stop for a light yet delicious lunch at The Bewildered Pig. They're open for outdoor dining and takeout at the moment; we opted to sit outside in the shade, and the servers brought everything out to us—beet salad, cheese plate, and charcuterie—in disposable containers. I do sometimes miss the full restaurant experience, but at this point, dining out in any shape or form feels like a treat. 

Speaking of treats, we stopped by Lula Cellars, where the incredibly friendly wine pourers like to shower you with buttons and keychains (we inadvertently ended up with four of each). They made my favorite rosĂ© of the day, as well as so many soft and delicate pinots, we had a hard time choosing which one to take home. (I think we might have to order more.) Lula is super dog-friendly, which we always appreciate, and they waive your tasting fee when you purchase a bottle, which, hello, is super easy to do. 

But saving the best for last, I had been to Phillips Hill on a whim a few years ago and remember being blown away by their pinots. Two sips into their dry riesling, the first wine of our tasting, I knew we were going to walk out of there as wine club members. And I was right. First of all, the wines are fantastic, from the light, crisp whites (they make a completely unoaked chardonnay, which is music to my ears) to their juicy yet delicate pinots—we took home at least one bottle of everything we tasted. Secondly, the winery is housed in an old apple orchard, the owners are lovely, and the whole experience feels so personal and detail-oriented. Plus, they loved Zuni (and she loved them). Phillips Hill waives their tasting fee when you purchase two bottles (which we clearly did, and then some); like all of the above places I've mentioned, reservations are required for the time being, but they're easy to make via Tock

OUTFIT DETAILS: H&M dress | Kitch maskKeebos iPhone case (c/o) | Staud Bissett bagBirkenstock Arizona Eva sandals | Karen Walker sunglasses (more current version here


Laura B said...

Oh my goodness how fun! I would love a getaway like this!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Oh what a fun little getaway, Cheryl! And I love that you bring your pup along for the fun! Such a cute dress, too. Thanks for linking up with me.

Jessica Jannenga said...

Its hard to beleive it was a few years ago we went to Sonoma and Napa/SF to visit. That was a great trip! Looks like some wonderful vineyards you visited and your pup was having a blast too! This is right up my alley!
thanks for linking!
jess xx

Just Live Joy said...

This is such a cute dress on you! I love it and it works so well with that backdrop. Looks like a wonderful day.
Sherry said...

That looks like such a fun getaway! I'd love to do some wine tasting, although I'd probably be staggering around afterwards because I'm such a lightweight! I love your pretty dress! Thanks for linking up!

Emma xxx