Sniff, Swirl, and Sip

Follow the Anderson Valley wine-tasting route to Mendocino County's Navarro Coast.

Text by Susan C. Kim

State Road 128 leaves the clamor of Highway 101 behind as it hugs the Navarro River on a path to the Pacific. One of Mendocino County's most delightful country roads, it winds through the sunny Anderson Valley and past several wineries (see map) that enjoy outstanding reputations. Here are some favorites (most are open until 4 or 5 p.m. daily).

NAVARRO VINEYARDS
In the heart of Anderson Valley, this tasting room overlooks immaculate vineyards that roll into green hills. Call 707/895-3686 or visit navarrowine.com.

ROEDERER ESTATE
Owned by France's Champagne Louis Roederer, this California house pours excellent sparkling wines in elegant surroundings. Call 707/895-2288 or visit roedererestate.net.

GREENWOOD RIDGE
The funky, hippie-esque winery applies beautiful dragon-etched labels to bottles of its award-winning wines, and owners are proud of using solar energy and other sustainable practices in wine-making. Call 707/895-2002 or visit greenwoodridge.com.

GOLDENEYE
Owned by Napa's Duckhorn Wine Company, Goldeneye's 2000 Pinot Noir put Anderson Valley on the wine map for this popular varietal. Call 707/895-3202 or visit goldeneyewinery.com.

HANDLEY CELLARS
Visitors enjoy browsing the unusual collection of international folk art, and tasting Gewürztraminer on the garden patio. Call 800/733-3151 or visit handleycellars.com.

HUSCH VINEYARDS
The oldest winery in the valley, its converted pony-barn tasting-room pours award-winning Chardonnays. Call 800/664-8724 or visit huschvineyards.com.

For more information, contact Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, call 707/895-9463 or visit