During our recent getaway to Mendocino’s Glendeven Inn and Inn at the Cobbler’s Walk, we had the pleasure of going on a private wine tour through nearby Anderson Valley. This luxurious experience is available to guests of the properties for a fee and can be arranged via the innkeeper.
The private wine tour includes all tasting fees and lunch at a local eatery. Winery tours at certain wineries can be arranged by request.
A couple weeks before our stay, the innkeeper at Glendeven Inn contacted me to ask what varietals of wines we preferred and if we had any special requests to visit particular properties. Anderson Valley is known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines. It’s also known for its Alsatian varietals, particularly Gewürztraminer and White Riesling. We like all of the above so we were up for anything!
We went on our wine tour adventure on the second day of our stay. Dan, our guide and driver for the day, picked us up shortly after we had enjoyed our lovely in-room farm-fresh breakfast.
We climbed into the inn’s luxurious and smooth-riding Audi Q7, and off we went! Dan headed inland about 20 minutes to our first stop, Navarro Vineyards.
Navarro Vineyards is one of the most well-known wineries in the region. This small, family-owned winery has been growing grapes and making wine since 1974. They offer a wide variety of wines from Gewürztraminer and White Riesling to several different Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. They also make non-alcoholic wines and have a large selection of local cheeses available for purchase.
The property is scenic with expansive vineyards, rolling hills and flower gardens. We tasted their wines, then selected half a case to bring home with us. One great thing about taking the wine tour in the Audi Q7 is we had plenty room to fit all our wine purchases!
Bill and I always make a point of stopping at The Apple Farm in Anderson Valley. When Dan suggested a stop, we jumped at the idea! I wanted replenishing my stock of their wonderful organic apple cider vinegar and pick up a couple jars of delicious jam which they make on property.
The Apple Farm not only has a beautiful apple orchard, but they also have stay and cook program where you can cook and learn, side by side with the staff.
We were lucky enough to meet Karen Bates, the owner whose family began The Apple Farm in 1984. She gave us a brief tour of their gorgeous kitchen before we paid for our goodies at the self-service stand.
Soon it was time to eat again. Dan took us to the town of Booneville, a quaint town in the middle of Anderson Valley. We ordered a light lunch, then ate outside on their patio and got to know Dan a little better, peppering him with questions about the area. He is chock-full of local knowledge!
I couldn’t visit Anderson Valley without stopping off to taste sparkling wine at Roederer Estate. From the Champagne House of Cristal and Louis Roederer of France, this California location is laid back and rustic with gorgeous rolling hills, expansive lawns and a comfortable patio with valley views.
We always buy a few bottles of the wines they don’t distribute, available only in their tasting room. I am currently in love with their Extra Dry.
Scharffenberger Cellars is located in the town of Philo and also makes sparkling wines. Scharffenberger began in 1981 by John Scharffenberger. Since that time, the company has gone through many changes and now is owned by Roederer Estate.
Their tasting room is relaxed and the staff friendly, knowledgable and welcoming. There is a small art gallery in the tasting room and a garden area outside.
What a treat it was getting to visit Lazy Creek Vineyards! I had not heard of this winery before, which is surprising given how many times I have visited Anderson Valley over the years. Lazy Creek specializes in Pinot Noirs, our favorite red varietal.
Lazy Creek Vineyards is the second oldest winery in Anderson Valley, established in the early 1900s by an Italian family who planted orchards and vineyards. The winery changed hands in the late 1960s and again in 1998 before being sold to the Caranos of Ferrari-Carano in 2008. They remodeled the winery to its current state, retaining the rustic charm while making modern upgrades.
Lazy Creek Vineyards is located down a long winding road which runs parallel to the creek it was named for. When you come out of the woods, you see rolling vineyards, their stunning tasting room and lots of flowers and olive trees.
Toulouse Vineyards was our last stop of the day. Located on a hill one mile from the town of Philo, Toulouse makes outstanding wines and offers some spectacular views of Anderson Valley and the Navarro River.
The owners, Vern and Maxine, began making wine in 2002 after Vern retired from Oakland Fire Department. Since my husband is a firefighter, he particularly liked this winery. He got a chance to meet Vern and they talked shop for awhile. And I got a chance to meet Fritz, their 30 year old parrot. Such a character!
We tasted Toulouse wines on the patio and decided we had to take a 1/2 case of their rosé home with us. It is the perfect summer wine and I regret we didn’t bring more home with us.
I highly recommend taking the private wine tour while visiting Glendeven Inn or Inn at Cobbler’s Walk. It is the ideal way to visit Anderson Valley. Thank you to our guide and driver, Dan, who was not only friendly and personable but so knowledgable too.
For more information about the private wine tour including rates, visit Glendeven Inn’s website or call 707-937-0083 or 800-822-4536.
Disclosure: Our private wine tour and stay at Glendeven Inn, Inn at the Cobbler’s Walk were complimentary in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.