Mendocino County Wineries: Tasting in 2 Days

  • Inspirations
  • on NOVEMBER 6, 2015
  • 410
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Northern California is covered with miles of undiscovered grapevine, planted hillside wine grapes are grown in 48 of California’s 58 counties. All areas are not equally known in terms of weekend getaway status, but wine lovers willing to wander are finding it hard not to be pulled in by the magnetic force of Mendocino County.

Day 1

Image Source: Yelp
Goldeneye Winery
9200 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(800) 208-0438
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 29 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: From San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and take Highway 101 North, for approximately 75 miles, to the Highway 128 west exit. Goldeneye winery is five miles past the town of Boonville on 128, on the left, look for the white fence.

Goldeneye wines has introduced many wine lovers to Mendocino County and specifically to Anderson Valley. Goldeneye farms four estate vineyards and more than 200 acres of Pinot Noir. The Confluence Vineyard provides the scenic backdrop for guests coming to taste. 
Insider tip: Take a picnic on the grounds and pets are welcome in outdoor areas.

Image Source: Yelp
9000 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707) 895-2940
Reservations: Not required
Directions: From Balo Vineyards, head southeast on CA-128 E. Bink is located in the Madrones, on the right.

Bink is all about small, hand-crafted lots of wine made with fruit from the hills of Mendocino’s Yorkville Highlands. Winemaker and owner, Deb Schatzlein has genetics on her side—her grandparents made gin in the bathtub during Prohibition.
Insider tip: They strive to make good wine at affordable prices, with most bottles available at $25 or less.

Image Source: Drew Family Cellars
Drew Family Cellars
9000 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707) 895-9599
Reservations: Not required
Directions: The Drew tasting room is located at The Madrones, on Highway 128.

With a small case production, Drew’s tasting room pours current releases while they last. Along with Pinot Noir and Syrah from Mendocino Ridge, Anderson Valley, and the Yorkville Highlands, Drew makes a small amount of Albariño.
Insider tip: Drew also farms a 15 acre apple orchard. Ask about the cider when you stop in.

Image Source: Yelp
9000 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707) 895-3365
Reservations: Not required
Directions: The Knez tasting room is located at The Madrones, on Highway 128.

Choose from the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah or go for all three in the sleek and modern tasting room Knez calls home.
Insider tip: Grab a fire wood pizza across at Stone & Embers, the white anchovy is a particular favorite.

Image Source: Signal Ridge
Signal Ridge
9000 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707) 895-3588
Reservations: Not required
Directions: The Signal Ridge tasting room is located at The Madrones, on Highway 128.

The Signal Ridge Vineyard is the highest altitude vineyard in all of Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties. Go for the bubbles (aka sparkling wine), but expect to enjoy everything you taste.
Insider tip: If you are a hard cider fan, you can pick also pick up locally made Bite Hard Cider at the Signal Ridge tasting room.

Image Source: Yelp
Handley Cellars
3151 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
(707) 895-3876
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 32 reviews
Reservations: Not required
Directions: From Signal Ridge, head northwest on CA-128 W toward Indian Creek Rd for 6 miles.

Handley Cellars is a small family-owned winery on the northwest end of the Anderson Valley. The tasting room is decorated with collections of folk art and the garden courtyard is open for picnics.
Insider tip: A complimentary Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station is available during tasting room hours.

Day 2

Image Source: Yelp
Parducci Wine Cellars
501 Parducci Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
(800) 362-9463
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 43 reviews
Reservations: Required for tours only
Directions: From the south, on Highway 101, take the Lake Mendocino exit, turn left, go under the overpass and turn right onto the frontage road, Tollini Lane.

The oldest winery in Mendocino County, Parducci Wine Cellars is certified organic and biodynamic. The winery is also a certified wildlife habitat. What was once the wastewater pond is now a welcoming spot for herons, egrets, geese, and an assortment of other birds along with turtles, frogs, and fish. Parducci also has a five acre organic garden and orchard. During peak harvest the garden produces more than 100 pounds of fresh produce a week for employees.
Insider tip: Folks at Parducci love kids and dogs, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole family along. This isn’t a winery you’ll want to rush through, so plan accordingly and give yourself some time to spend.

Image Source: Yelp
Barra of Mendocino
7051 North State Street
Redwood Valley, CA 95470
(707) 485-0322
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 11 reviews
Reservations: Required for private tours only
Directions: From Paraducci Wine Cellars, head southeast on Parducci Rd toward Tollini Ln. Turn left onto N State St and continue for 3.5 miles.

Along with 50 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, Barra has a beautiful garden and encourages guests to stay and picnic. The winery tasting room dates back to the 1970s and looks like an upside down champagne glass, so you can’t miss it from Highway 101.
Insider tip: The winery produces a second label called Girasole, made with organic grapes, so you can do two tastings in one location.

Image Source: Frey Vineyards
Frey Vineyards Winery
14000 Tomki Road
Redwood Valley, CA 95470
(800) 760-3739
Reservations: Required
Directions: From Barra of Mendocino, head northwest on N State St. Turn right onto West Road, then left onto Tomki Road.

Founded in 1980, Frey Vineyards was the first producer of biodynamic wine in the United States. You need an appointment to visit the winery in Redwood Valley, but sipping is easy  at the Frey Organic Wine Tasting Bar located at the Solar Living Center/Real Goods in Hopland. Frey started off growing vegetables, but now they grow and mill flour, and make cheese in addition to wine.
Insider tip: Winemaker Paul Frey is vegetarian (as well as other Frey family members) and Frey organic wines are vegan and gluten free.


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