Simply Tasty!

Wine Taste in Anderson Valley

Remember when wine tasting at all the good spots was free or only a few bucks? (Okay, that was quite awhile ago.) Anderson Valley never forgot! Who knows how long it will last, as this land of pinot noir is developing an outstanding reputation for premium wines, but currently you can taste some exceptional wines for as low as $5 per tasting, and often for free.

And yes, it's the good stuff. From family-run vineyards that are low-key to slightly fancier options, here are few to try: Toulouse Vineyards is set on a hillside in the heart of Anderson Valley, with a small tasting room and a beautiful patio overlooking the valley. Say hi to Tess, the friendly lab, and enjoy the flagship pinots. Navarro Vineyards is the valley grandfather, growing outstanding pinot noir grapes in the valley since the early '70s (and don't miss trying the dry white edelzwicker).

Walk among the vines at Husch Vineyards, another valley pioneer, where it takes about twenty minutes to do a self-guided tour of the grounds (pictured), seeing a small redwood grove and checking out the grapes that produce their famous gewürztraminers and chardonnays. At Goldeneye you'll pay more for a tasting (perhaps because their 2005 pinot noir was served at President Obama's 2009 Inauguration lunch?) but the wines deliver and the setting is stunning. Cheers!

BONUS EATS: The awesome oak firewood oven pizza from Stone & Embers in Philo is a hot commodity—a true expression of artisan craftsmanship—and delicious. The catch: only a certain number are made each day, so you've gotta time it right (hint, don't wait until late afternoon). The rest of the menu is original and farm fresh. Grab a seat on the patio.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Photo of the East Brother Light Station in the San Francisco Bay Area

    Oh, Brother!

    Spending the night on a tiny island in the Bay? Intriguing. Spending the night in a lighthouse perched on that island? Sound the foghorn! East Brother Light Station Bed & Breakfast sits on a small patch of land in the strait that separates San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

  2. Mill About Lakeside

    Bucks Lake Recreation Area near Quincy in Plumas County has plenty of beautiful hiking trails. For an easy hike with beautiful spots for sunning, swimming, and lounging on sand beaches or giant rock slabs, do the Mill Creek Trail.

  3. Camping at Chewing Gum Lake Emigrant Wilderness

    High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

  4. The Secret Big Blue

    Set at 4,500 feet, surrounded by 52 miles of shoreline, and with sparkling sapphire hue, Lake Almanor is the other big blue. The secret one. This huge lake—idyllic in spring through fall for all kinds of water adventures—is a gem of Plumas County where you can relax without crowds.


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Hot As (Bumpass) Hell

    So you like going to all the hot spots when you visit places? Well, in Lassen Volcanic National Park there’s a place so hot it gets downright steamy. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park, with sputtering mud pots, sulfur vents, and boiling pools. It’s California’s Yellowstone.

  2. Bucks Up!

    Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens.

  3. Starcrossed Stairway?

    Built into the hillside next to the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Heights delights with historic homes, steep and narrow (mostly carless) streets, and enchanting city views. Best of all, it features a network of walkways and staircases that makes it super fun to wander and explore.

  4. Lunch at the Lakes

    Pack your own picnic and head for a lakeside lunch at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Then take your pick from a lovely trio of lakes accessed from the same trailhead. Follow it all up with a visit to Manzanita Lake on the other side of the park.