Anderson Valley Wineries
Grapes have been grown in California wine country for hundreds of years, but not all of the region that currently exists date back that far. Anderson Valley is a region that is comparatively new to wine production, as the land that now is home to vineyards was once where cattle and sheep were allowed to roam. There are now more than 35 wineries in Anderson Valley, many of which are nestled in among the rolling hills, away from the hustle and bustle of highway 128. They are not too far off the beaten path, though, and with the others set along this main thoroughfare, you are left with a region that is really easy to explore.
Anderson Valley wineries were pretty scarce during the 1960’s and 70’s, with the general consensus being that the region did not have the climate conducive to growing grapes. That all changes when a study carried out by viticulturists at the University of California at Davis showed that the soil and climate may actually be well suited to certain varietals. A few bold souls decided to take a run at grape growing and commercial wine production in the region, and it was their success that saw big name winemakers enter the region in the 1980’s.
One of the reasons why Anderson Valley wine tasting has become so popular, besides the fantastic wines on offer, is that getting from place to place is incredibly easy. The region stretches along highway 128, from Boonville to Navarro, which is a distance of only 15 miles. All of the wineries in Anderson Valley are either right along the highway, or a short little drive off of it. This makes arranging self-guided tours a snap, assuming of course that you still make sure that a designated driver is in place before you set off.
If you do plan on making your trip to this region more than a one day event, you have a number of different options when it comes to places to stay. One idea is to start at either Boonville or Navarro, and then spend the night in Philo, which sits as close to the middle as possible between those two locations. Each of those places has ample accommodations to choose from, as well as wonderful dining and tasting room experiences that will make your stay in the region a pleasant one.
While this is not one of the larger wine regions in the state, you will still need to do a little bit of advanced preparation before you make the trip. Some of the Anderson Valley wineries are closed to the public, while others are only open at specific times. Any successful wine trip is one that does not involve disappointment, so be sure to decide which wineries you really want to see, as that will help you know what days and times are best for visiting. This is a region that is on the rise, but it is still something of a hidden gem. Be sure to get in there and explore before everyone learns about it.