For fans of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, a visit to the Anderson Valley wineries and Mendocino County is a must. While it is a smaller wine region than many other more well-known regions, it offers a perfect weekend getaway, and a range of the best Anderson Valley wineries that are all worth visiting.
The valley is fascinating to drive through, with some really amazing scenery. One of the best parts about the Anderson Valley, with the exception of the incredible wine, is that it’s not as busy as many other wine valleys. This means that you can show up at a Mendocino winery and enjoy a tasting in a peaceful environment. Although the farms stay up to date with wine industry trends, they are famed for two specific types of wine, so fewer people frequent them.
What Wine Is Anderson Valley Known For?
The Anderson Valley is known for two wines in particular:
- Pinot Noir
How Many Wineries Are In Anderson Valley?
While the number varies from time to time, there are approximately 40 wineries in the Anderson Valley, quite an impressive number for this region of the country.
If you’d like to explore this area, we recommend these options as the best Anderson Valley wineries:
One of the Anderson Wineries that attracts many visitors looking for some bubbly is the Scharffenberger Wineries, owned by the Roederer Estate. The bubbly they produce is different to what you might be used to, typically quite fruity in taste. The bubbly is affordable, so certainly worth stopping by to stock up if you can!
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Of the Mendocino wineries, Weatherborne is a fairly new addition to the Anderson Valley wineries. Run by Cris Carter, the Weatherborne winemaker, this winery is a small boutique venue, offering some wonderful Pinot Noir. With a focus on sustainability and on delicious wine, this is one of the most interesting wineries in the Anderson Valley.
The Domain Anderson winery is small, cosy, and offers some quite specific wines. As might be expected in this valley, Domaine Anderson has some excellent Chardonnay, and the Pinot Noir is often spoken about. Definitely worth a stop.
The claim to fame of the Goldeneye Winery is that it is the sister of the Duckhorn Winery based in the Napa Valley. At this winery you will be able to enjoy a range of different Pinot Noirs, making for some really interesting comparisons. Hand in hand with the tasty wines are the simply incredible views this winery offers. Their prices are slightly more than some of the other Anderson wineries, certainly with a similar approach to other Napa Valley wineries, but without a doubt, it offers a really entertaining experience.
The Baxter Winery offers some of the best Pinot Noir of all the Mendocino wineries in the Valley. The quality of these wines, and the depth of flavour, is incredibly high, even though the prices might be slightly higher than some of the other wineries in the region.
They produce a small volume of wine, but the high quality makes up for this. Some of the bottles that are produced are specific to a particular vineyard, meaning every visit to this winery can offer a new experience.
Handley Cellars Winery
In terms of the best tasting rooms, or best seating areas with a view, Baxter comes out as one of the favourites. Even if the weather creeps in and it’s a foggy afternoon, views are still amazing, and the heavy weather just creates a more cozy atmosphere.
The wine tasting is really enjoyable. The Handley Cellars Winery is known for its excellent Pinot Noir, retaining its excellent reputation as one of the best wines from the Anderson Valley. The Sparkling Brut Wines that are produced from its vineyards are also quite exceptional.
The Witching Stick Tasting Room
Without a doubt one of the best names for a tasting room in the Valley, the Witching Stick tasting room sits alongside The Bewildered Pig Tasting Room. The setting of the seating area of this wine tasting area offers an incredibly cosy and charming atmosphere and is the ideal setting for tasting a Chardonnay.
Friday – Sunday 12 – 5pm
Toulouse Vineyards and Winery
Right in the middle of Oak Trees and Redwoods, the Toulouse Winery is a tranquil and charming venue. This particular winery pays careful attention to offering high quality wines, bottling all of their wines on the property. While the wine tasting room is open daily, for this particular winery it is a good idea to make a reservation before arriving. The staff working here are really excellent, adding to the wonderful experience.
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Lula Cellars offers a really fun outdoor tasting venue, which is paired excellently with some stunning views across the valley. This particular venue is known to specialize in Pinot Noir, however, they do offer a range of other wine varieties. If you purchase a bottle of wine when visiting, the tasting is free of charge. A great incentive to buy a few bottles. Perhaps their most well-known wine is the 2018 Pinot Noir, which won a number of awards.
Offering something slightly different to the other Anderson valley Wineries, Pennyroyal Farms has a really interesting selection of delicious cheeses. This is in addition to all the wines that are on offer here, perfect for lovers of both cheese and wine. They have a pretty outdoor patio where wines can be tasted, but it does get busy at times, so a reservation is always a good idea.
For something a little different, take their farm tour, which gives the public a chance to look around a working farm, receive a good explanation of the winemaking and the cheese-making process, and also see many of the animals on the farm. Certainly worth a visit.
Husch Vineyards and Winery
One of the oldest wineries in the valley, this winery processes an incredible 22 varieties of wine. Of this, they are most well known for their Pinot Noir, their Chardonnay, and also their Gewurztraminer wines. One of the things that set this vineyard apart is that all of their grapes are picked by hand, quite unusual in the modern era.
They have kept their tasting room as quite a rustic style room, making for a different sort of tasting experience. During the tasting, the public is able to taste 6 different wines, which is an absolute pleasure, particularly because of their very knowledgeable staff working there.
With so many options to choose from it’s easy to see why exploring a Mendocino winery or two comes highly recommended!
Born amidst the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley, Chloe’s love for wine was instilled from a young age. This passion led her to the picturesque wine regions of France, where she immersed herself in the rich wine culture and traditions.
Chloe’s dedication to the craft culminated in her becoming a wine sommelier, a testament to her deep knowledge and appreciation for wines.
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