Apples and pinot noir between Healdsburg and Mendocino.

May 31, 2012

In Northern California’s Mendocino County, the 25-mile-long Anderson Valley encompasses several tiny communities (Boonville is the largest with less than 1,000 residents). The vibe is very low-key, and there’s not a lot of infrastructure, so the area’s wineries are best explored by car. Along the way, be sure to sample the region’s specialty, pinot noir.

Boonville Hotel Restaurant

There might only be two entrées and a handful of starters on the menu, but each dish captures the essence of the season. The duck comes from Sonoma and the fruit from the Apple Farm, and the greens are harvested in the garden.

Boonville General Store

Hang around the store and listen for the village’s tongue-in-cheek dialect, Boontling (supposedly rooted in Scottish Gaelic and Irish).

Standish Wine Company

Up the road in Philo, you can also visit the most photogenic tasting room in the valley, in a 19th-century wooden building once used for drying apples.

Navarro River Swimming Hole

In the summer, cool off in the Navarro River swimming hole beneath Philo Greenwood Bridge.

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