Wine & Travel

Snooth User: vin0vin0

Things to do north of Russian River

Posted by vin0vin0, Aug 3, 2012.

We're heading to Russian River in a couple of weeks for a long weekend.  I have the first couple of days planned out fairly well with a good idea of the local wineries we're going to visit. We're giong to take a day trip on that Sunday and do some traveling and either head to Mendocino or the Clear Lake area. We'd like to take in some sites plus visit a winery or two.  Any suggestions for places to hike, taste, eat, ...?

Replies

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Reply by EMark, Aug 3, 2012.

VV, you will get great advice from locals who know a lot more about the area than I do.  However, since you mentioned Mendocino, I would make a strong recommendation that you check out the Anderson Valley.  State Route 128 from S.R. 101 at Cloverdale will take you through the Anderson Valley to Mendocino.  Anderson Valley is Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer country.  You can check wineries here.  The last third of the trip takes you through a magnificent redwood forest.  It is probably my favorite drive in California.

Have fun, and please report back to us.

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Reply by outthere, Aug 4, 2012.

I would head towards Mendo before Clear Lake. Much more to do. A day trip to Mendocino is a lot of driving though if you plan on going all the way to the town of Mendo. 

Take EMARK's advice and do the 128 drive. North on US 101 to Cloverdale and follow the signs for Hwy 128. Lots of nice wineries to visit in the valley such as Breggo, Goldeneye, Londer, Roederer, Handley, Navarro, Edmeades...

When passing through Boonville you should stop at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company and take a tour of their brewery. Great tour, great beers, nice change of pace.

I can throw a rock from my house and almost hear it splash into the Russian River. If there is anything I can help with send me a message!

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Reply by vin0vin0, Aug 4, 2012.

Thanks to both of you for the great advice about Anderson Valley, sounds exactly like what I was hoping for. We'll definitely take in the Anderson Valley Brewing Co. so that we can compare it to the Russian River Brewery.  Looks like I have some surfing to do re: AV wineries.

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Reply by vin0vin0, Sep 4, 2012.

Had another great trip to Russian River Valley!  As suggested, we traveled up 101 and took 128 up into Anderson Valley. Made it about half way and decided to hike around the Hendy Woods State park.  Beautiful redwoods and a fairly easy hiking trail allowed us to purge some of the demons of the last few days spent in search of the best RRV chardonnay and Zin. Bought some sandwiches at a local deli in Boonville and headed for the Anderson Valley Brewing Co. where we enjoyed the pastrami a flight of the local brews.  Only able to make it to one winery, Toulouse. The folks in the tasting room were exceptionally nice as were the whites that we tasted.  Brought home Pinot Gris and Reisling.  Next time we'll go the distance to Mendo and spend the night up north.

Thanks again for the advice.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 4, 2012.

Glad you enjoyed it. So, what did you find in your search for the best? What were some of the better wines you tasted in the RRV?

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Reply by vin0vin0, Sep 5, 2012.

We ventured to many tasting rooms on our 5 day journey, here are the highlights:

On day one coming into Sonoma proper from SFO we found some excellent Pinots at Westwood Winery, whose tasting room is down a small alley right off the square. Laid back atmosphere in a quiet alcove.

The highlight of the entire trip was on day two with an appointment at Newton, in Napa. Phenomenal views from the top of Spring Mountain (photo).  We were treated to a fantastic tasting/food pairing the best of which was the unfiltered white label chardonnay. I know this wine can be purchased in many a big box wine store but it really stood out tasting it there at the source.  After all, location is a part of the overall wine experience.

The big surprise on the 3rd day had to be Red Car Wine Co. in Sebastopol,  which is a walk across the grass from Dutton-Goldfield. Their chardonnay can hold its own against the better wines of Burgundy, crisp, clean and minerally, not oaky or buttery and with a great finish.

Day four was a venture to the north of RRV.  By far the best zins we found were at Valdez Family Winery, all the way up in Cloverdale. All of their zins were a step above but the Botticelli was probably the best wine we tasted the whole trip.  This wine is made from grapes sourced from the Rockpile AVA.  I've had the Rosenblum and Mauritson Rockpile zins, this one is more intense. Needless to say, we are now members of their wine club

Next best zins were the same day at Talty, where we had a great tasting with Mike Talty. Talty zins are more refined and not so much in your face.  This provided a nice way to compare styles between two winemakers, both making great zin.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 6, 2012.

I really liked the Valdez Zins I had at Taste of Sonoma. Red Car is a sleeper that's getting found out lately.


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