Anderson Valley in The News

Chicago Tribune

Cool climate, great wines: Why Anderson Valley pinot deserves your attention

By Bill St John, March 2015

..."What I think makes the place ideal for California," says Ryan Hodgins, winemaker at FEL Wines, "is the lateness of the growing season." Hodgins explains that "nine out of a dozen years in California, we get a significant heat event around Labor Day weekend." What that means for winemaking is that the wine grapes may be just sufficiently ripe to make good wine, but that any significant heat ("100 degrees isn't unusual," says Hodgins) dries out and shrivels the grapes' skins...

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Mercury News

Wine: Anderson Valley's Alsace Festival

By Laurie Daniel, March 2015

Mendocino County's Anderson Valley is best known these days for pinot noir, but I've long referred to the valley as the American Alsace.

Grape varieties commonly associated with France's Alsace region -- especially gewürztraminer, riesling and pinot gris -- thrive in the cool, ocean-influenced climate of Anderson Valley, and the area has a long reputation for these grapes. So it's a natural place for an International Alsace Varietals Festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in February...

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Wine Oh.tv

Alsace Festival: White Wine Wonderland in Anderson Valley

By Laura Ness, February 2015

...For the first time in its ten-year history, I was able to attend the Alsace Festival in Anderson Valley, and I’m planning never to miss it again.There are at least ten good reasons why. I’ll get to those memorably delicious points in a minute, but first, a quick primer on what is meant by “Alsatian varieties.” For this festival, the menu is all about Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Muscat. The one thing they all have in common? Their incomparable aromatics...

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Anderson Valley Wine Growers defy laws of physics at 10th Alsace Festival

By John Compisi, February 2015

Neither rain nor sleet nor the laws of physics or Mother Nature could prevent the winegrowers of theAnderson Valley from delivering an exquisite 10th Annual International Alsace Festival in Boonville this past weekend. You might ask, "What laws of Nature were defied?" Consider Gravity, Inertia and the near biblical proportion rains and flooding that actually closed Highway 128 at the 'Deep End' of the valley.

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10th Annual International Alsace Varietal Festival celebrates aromatic whites

By Inga Aksamit, February 2015

The night before the International Alsace Varietal Festival, held February 7, 2015, the skies opened to cheers after more than 40 days and 40 nights of bone-dry weather, but threatened to overpower trees, power lines and creeks with the gusty winds and a deluge of life-giving water. But Saturday dawned clear and bright, the emerald green hills intensifying overnight against the cobalt blue sky. It was just the day to open palates to the world of the aromatic whites at the Mendocino County Fairground in Boonville.

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International Alsace Varietals Festival celebrates Alsace Whites

By Steve Ferree, January 2015

You will find only one wine festival dedicated to Alsace-style wines and the Anderson Valley wineries are hosting the event, the 10th Annual International Alsace Varietals Festival, on February 7. This unique and exclusive wine tasting event celebrates Alsace-style wines such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muscat.   Read More



A Decade of Aromatic Whites: The 2015 International Alsace Varietals Festival

By Two Guys from Napa, January 2015

The 10th annual International Alsace Varietals Festival is coming to Mendocino County next month, on February 7th and 8th offering a chance to celebrate varietals such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Muscat.  This fun and unique event is brought to you by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association and whether you enjoy white wines more than red, or are just a fan of the Alsace varietals, you should seriously think about attending. Read more



Lovers Of California Wine, Keep An Eye On Anderson Valley

By Christine Ciarmello, November 22, 2014

Anderson isn't a valley that typically makes the short list when travelers are planning a California wine vacation. Likely it'll be Napa, Russian River or Santa Ynez (thank you,Sideways). But something's happening in Anderson Valley — thanks to the stature of its Pinot noirs and the boomlet in the valley town of Philo...

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San Francisco Chronicle

Giving thanks for Anderson Valley — a Pinot Noir sweet spot

By Jon Bonné, November 22, 2014

I’m asked with surprising frequency which wine region in California I’m fondest of. Always, I demur out of professional courtesy and a dislike of outrunning angry mobs. But in my heart, the answer hasn’t shifted much for most of a decade: Anderson Valley.

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Visiting & Tasting Anderson Valley, Part I: The Story

By Trevor Felch, 29 October 2014

With twenty to thirty winding, redwood-studded miles of driving isolating the Anderson Valley from civilizations (can Mendocino be fully called that?) at both the northern and southern ends, the tour bus crowd won’t be coming here any time shortly. Those large groups and the big Cabernet Sauvignon set stick to Napa’s easy access and more temperate climate...

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A Dreamy Weekend in the Anderson Valley

By Liza Zimmerman, October 2014

I just got back from Philo and Boonville. The two charming towns are so beautiful and full of great food and wine that I wonder why we SF folks don't head up more frequently... Read More


Decanter Magazine

Decanter travel guide: Anderson Valley, California

By Stephen Brook, September 2014

An oasis from Napa’s glitz and glamour, this is the wine region to visit for unpretentious dining, redwood forests and excellent Pinot Noir, says Stephen Brook...

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17th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival May 15-18, 2014 Anderson Valley, California

By the Prince of Pinot, July 2014

I am always glad when the Pinot Trail leads me to the annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. I am attracted by the convivial winegrower hosts and organizers, the informal, country fair atmosphere, the delectable local artisan foods, and the superb, world-class Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs...

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Wine Berserkers

Report on the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival Grand Tasting 2014

By Ken Zinns, July 2014

... The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival continues to be an excellent event, and well worth the long day-trip for me. The tasting has a relaxed, low-key character that is in keeping with Anderson Valley as a whole. And it’s certainly the best opportunity anywhere to taste most of the best Pinots sourced from the area – very distinctive and different from most other California Pinots. I’m certainly looking forward to returning to the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival next year. Until then, bahl hornin'!

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Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival - Tops the list again

By John Compisi, June 2014

Somehow the amazing Anderson Valley Winegrowers produced another fabulous Pinot Noir Festival. Sure, they have beautiful environs with rolling hills, lush vineyards and rapturous grapes, but that can't account for the consistently well organized, imaginatively produced and scrupulously executed event called the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. Guess that leaves the growers, winemakers and other AVA members that meticulously plan and execute this collaborative, fun and educational event.There are many reasons why the Anderson Valley Pinot event leaps to the top of the list...

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Vinesse Today

An Opportunity to Taste Wine Before It’s Bottled

Robert Johnson

Tasting barrel samples can be a lot of fun, which is why individual wineries or groups of wineries host barrel tasting events — events like the Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend, which will be held for the second time July 26-27 in California’s Mendocino County. According to a press release, attendees will “enjoy unprecedented access to winery cellars, taste yet-to-be-released wines, explore the area, discover new wineries, and enjoy a beautiful summer weekend in Mendocino’s Pinot Noir country.”...

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Two Guys from Napa

Current Favorites from the Rest of Mendocino County

By Two Guys from Napa, June 2014

... Mendocino County includes winding roads, boutique wineries, hikes that truly make you feel you’ve gotten away from it all, coastal escapes, and farms and vineyards.  We hope the suggestions above help you plan your next trip there, but if you need additional ideas, please follow the drop-down menus on the navigation bar above under “Favorites by Wine Region” to target the area(s) you are most interested in.

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Top 12 wines from the 17th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

By Inga Aksamit, June 2014

The 17h Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, held from May 16-18, 2014, featured an in-depth Technical Conference, Grand Tasting, Open Houses and more, all focused on that most fickle of grapes, Pinot Noir. Held in Anderson Valley, a pastoral Northern California wine growing region known for its rolling, forested hills, warm days and cooling fog that drifts in from the Mendocino coast nearly every afternoon, the 3-day festival offers a chance to relax from the pace of everyday life and consider all the facets that make Pinot so complex, versatile and seductive...

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Orange Coast Magazine

Anderson Valley has “Baul Hornin’” (Good Drinking)

By Rusty Gaffney, May 2014

I recently attended the 17th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival and returned with renewed enthusiasm for the wines of this region. There are 11 grape-growing appellations in Mendocino County, but it’s the Anderson Valley that’s uniquely suited to growing that minx of a grape, pinot noir. You’ll find approximately 35 wineries and nearly 100 vineyards here, and many wineries outside the valley also source grapes from the region.

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Wine Consumer Magazine

Three Perfect Days at Anderson Valley Pinot Festival

By Ilona Thompson, May 2014

Against the idyllic back drop of Anderson Valley's majestic mountains, I recently attended a weekend of wine, food and learning at the 17th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. The secret is out. The Anderson Valley has emerged as a top player in the Pinot scene and this marvelous event is the perfect way to be introduced to this magical region...

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AVA Focus: Anderson Valley

By Rebecca Lin, June 2014

An official California AVA since 1983, Anderson Valley is one of the lesser-known gems of California wine growing.  This might be partly because it’s so difficult to get to.  While it’s only 100 miles outside of San Francisco, the gorgeous and verdant road into town is hilly, long, and incredibly circuitous....

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Cuvee Corner Wine Blog

The Top 10 Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley

By Ilona Thompson, May 2014

...Anderson Valley is a special place that touches the heart and soothes the soul. The Pinot Noir dramatically differ stylistically from other regions.  These wines are often haunting and unforgettable. They tell the tale of rugged beauty, emerald hills, larger than life redwoods, and winemakers that have formed an un-severable bond with the land...

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SF Gate

Anderson Valley growing as destination for wine and cheese

By Maria Finn, May 2014

... Anderson Valley has quietly become a destination for Pinot Noir lovers seeking out boutique wineries. This spring, new wineries, restaurants and a farmstead cheese company are luring people north - and persuading them to pull off and stay awhile...

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Aspen Daily News

The Upwardly Expanding World of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

By Drew Stofflet

I had the good fortune of attending the 17th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, put on the by Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association. The festival is an effort to reach out beyond the forested, hilly confines of this secret valley and showcase their secret stash to the rest of the world...

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VIA Magazine

Anderson Valley Road Trip

By Kristina Malsberger, May 2014

Fine wines, delicious eats, friendly people, great outdoors. Find all that and more in California’s charmed Anderson Valley...“It’s Napa 30 years ago, Sonoma 20 years ago,” says Kristy Charles of Boonville’s Foursight Wines. “We still have sheep roaming the hills, there’s still open space, and a lot of the wineries are family run.”...

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Wall Street Journal

California's Coolest New Pinot Noir Appellation : The Anderson Valley has become a Pinotphile's paradise

By Jay McInerney, March 2014

... The Anderson Valley is still sparsely populated and ruggedly beautiful. It's also arguably California's coolest new Pinot Noir appellation—literally and figuratively. Fifteen years ago, the Russian River Valley was the ne plus ultra of Pinot appellations. Today, many of California's most influential Pinot makers, like Eric Sussman of Radio-Coteau and Kevin Harvey of Rhys Vineyards, have flocked to this narrow valley, some 15 miles long...

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Oregon Live

Like Cool Climate Wines? Then You will Love Anderson Valley!

By Marc Hinton, March 2014

If you have not been to Anderson Valley you should make it your next wine destination. A few months ago we headed south for the International Alsace Varietals Festival, and yes if you are questioning the direction you would be correct. To get to Alsace from PDX, you would head east. This festival takes place in the critically acclaimed but often overlooked wine region of Anderson Valley, California located near the Mendocino Coast...

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Anderson Valley Winegrowers deliver another exceptional Alsace Festival

By John Compisi, February 2014

The 2014 Anderson Valley International Alsace Festival is now in the history books. To find it, all one has to do is Google "the Friendliest, Foodiest and Most Festive Wine Festival" in Northern California. That search will return wonderful Alsatian wines from the Anderson Valley, numerous other California Appellations, other American Appellations as well as Europe and New Zealand. Despite the weekend rains, this sold out event provided wonderful experiences for all participants on both Saturday and Sunday...

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San Jose Mercury news

Mendocino's Anderson Valley: Gem for wine and food lovers

By Ann Tatko-Peterson

Driving the 15 miles of picturesque road between Boonville and Navarro, one thing instantly struck me. Why hadn't I heard more about the burgeoning wine region of Anderson Valley in Mendocino County? The two dozen wineries dotting Highway 128 drew my husband and me to the valley, known for its pinot noirs, dry gewurztraminers and chardonnays. And while the wine offerings more than satisfied, we also discovered a growing food scene that makes this a gem of a weekend getaway...

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Sapid Cellar Door

The International Alsace Varietals Festival

By Mellisa Hannum, February 2014

Last weekend, we attended the International Alsace Varietals Festival in Anderson Valley, California. It was our second year attending, and something we plan to repeat each year. As I’ve mentioned a few times, Anderson Valley is one of our favorite areas in the world. It’s one of those places that feels like home, and the festival is a great reason to visit. Alsace varietals that are focused on for the festival are Riesling, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris. (Also in the Alsace varietals are Pinot Noir and Sylvaner as well as Auxerois, Chasselas, and Chardonnay, via WineFolly. Anderson Valley has a separate Pinot Noir Festival in the spring.)...

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Six Exciting Wine Regions To Explore In 2014

By Katie Kelly Bell, February 2014

Located about 120 miles north of San Francisco in Mendocino, the Anderson Valley’s cold, foggy, dry and windy climate offers prime growing conditions for pinot noir and chardonnay. Smart winemakers have been experimenting with the terroir over the past 10 to 15 years and the results are elegant, finely tuned wines with soft fruit notes and complex structure. 

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San Jose Mercury News

Winery Adventure: The Madrones, Philo

By Laura Ness, January 2014

Anderson Valley is an elixir for the soul. In this maritime-influenced land of cool-climate Alsatian whites and pinot noir, weathered fence posts struggle to prop up dew-laden heritage roses, ancient water towers stand sentinel over vine rows stitched into steep hillsides, and barn roofs glow green with decades of moss. Time hangs like fog...

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Wine Enthusiast

America's Best Pinot Noirs

By Wine Enthusiast Editors, 2013

It’s been written so often that it’s become a cliché: Pinot Noir is a fickle grape that needs just the right conditions to thrive. 

Yet, Pinot’s popularity is such that we’re confronted by dozens of bottles from countless regions every time we enter a wine shop or open a wine list.

Here’s a way to cut through the clutter. Zero in on these six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), hand-selected by our team of West Coast editors.

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Discovering Mendocino

By Fred Swan, October 4, 2013

I’ve just spent three excellent days in Mendocino County with a small group of wine professionals. The “Discover Mendocino 2013” program combined extensive tastings with vineyard and farm visits. It also included substantial time with winemakers, growers and proprietors.

I’ll be making more trips up there in the coming months to follow up on the most interesting stories, gather more info, shoot more photos and do some one-on-one videos. In the meantime, here are quick takes on some of the things that I found most exciting:

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Best California Wineries to Visit

By Megan Krigbaum and Stephanie Zhang, October, 2013

California has thousands of winery tasting rooms, but the 75 here offer new and unforgettable experiences.

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Wine Spectator : California's Hidden Wine Country : Anderson Valley Pinot Noir breathes new life into Mendocino County

Mendocino is full of dreamers, carving their own paths in this wild and remote corner of California wine country where the pace of life is set by the seasons rather than by tourist hordes or marketing gurus. There's little glamour or notoriety here, far from the beaten paths of Napa Valley to the southeast or even neighboring Sonoma County. It's a bit of old California that still survives, prospering in its own tranquil rhythm. Wine Spectator's James Laube explains...

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Wine Spectator

California's Hidden Wine Country : Anderson Valley Pinot Noir breathes new life into Mendocino County

By James Laube, May 14, 2013

Mendocino is full of dreamers, carving their own paths in this wild and remote corner of California wine country where the pace of life is set by the seasons rather than by tourist hordes or marketing gurus. There's little glamour or notoriety here, far from the beaten paths of Napa Valley to the southeast or even neighboring Sonoma County. It's a bit of old California that still survives, prospering in its own tranquil rhythm. Wine Spectator's James Laube explains.

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The Examiner.com

Six great reasons to attend the Anderson Valley Pinot Festival 17-19 May

By John Compisi, May 1, 2013

The 16th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival kicks off in about 2.5 weeks with a weekend filled with wine, food, music and wine appreciation. This wonderful festival is hosted by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers' Association and its member growers and vintners. This year will witness a special farewell to one of the family, Londer Vineyards.


Fête du Vin! The 2013 International Alsace Varietals Festival

By Twoguysfromnapa.com, January 17, 2013

The 8th annual International Alsace Varietals Festival is coming to Mendocino County on February 9th and 10th this year. This festival celebrates varietals such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Muscat and is organized by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association. If you enjoy white wines more than red, or are just a fan of the Alsace varietals, you should seriously think about attending.

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The Daily Sip

Autumn in Anderson Valley

October 15, 2012

New gems to taste from Anderson Valley

For pinot noir lovers, a visit to Burgundy is something of a bucket list trip. But for a pinot adventure that’s deliciously rewarding and very doable, consider the drive up to Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. Just 2.5 hours north of San Francisco, Anderson Valley has a cool climate and terrain that’s perfect for growing pinot noir.

If you’re lucky, you’ll time your visit to coincide with Winesong Charity Auction & Tasting in September or the late spring Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. After just a couple days in the country, you might find yourself discussing the nuances of fruit coming from particular vineyards or debating where the “Deep End” of the valley starts

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Indian Summer Getaway: Anderson Valley

By Melissa McArdle, September 24, 2012

With the arrival of September, Northern California residents begin to shed their layers and soak up the golden warmth of the much anticipated Indian summer through the month of October. It's when San Francisco locals remember why they live here and begin to indulge in beach time, drive over the Golden Gate Bridge for something other than a fog-filled hiking adventure, and travel north knowing they can stick more than just their big toe into the water holes and rivers.

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San Francisco Chronicle

2012 brings a healthy crop of options

By Jon Bonne, September 21, 2012

It's been a couple of crazy years out in the vineyards. It was cold in 2010, except when the sun came out to roast the grapes. It was even chillier in 2011, with no heat wave for offset.
Is it possible that in 2012 everyone can breathe again?
Sure seems that way. "There's a ton of optimism," says Paul Ardzrooni, a top vineyard manager in Mendocino's Anderson Valley.


San Francisco Chronicle

A clash of style in Anderson Valley

By Jon Bonne, September 14, 2012

It has been tough to get my head around Anderson Valley.
This region in western Mendocino has long been a little-known sweet spot for Pinot Noir and a few other projects like hearty Gewurztraminer. But fame of sorts arrived for Anderson Valley as it was traversing a weird progression of vintages (go to: sfg.ly/QCXeMM).
The 2008s were largely hobbled by nearby wildfires, which rendered many wines not only smoky but ashy; the buoyant 2009 vintage brought a great passel of wines but also some signs that the stylistic muddle that had taken place in other Pinot regions - Sta. Rita Hills, Russian River Valley - had also arrived in the environs of Philo.

And now we have the 2010s, a colder and more difficult year than '09 - with a few hot days that led to a lot of uneven flavors.



New York Times

Pinot Hunting in the Anderson Valley

By Eric Asimov, September 14, 2012

On the map, at least, Mendocino doesn’t seem so far away, a mere three hours from San Francisco, just north of Sonoma County. Yet, something about Mendocino feels isolated and desolate, powerfully so, inspiring feelings of awe, eeriness and even a bit of menace. Impending doom? A fanciful notion, perhaps, but not inappropriate for pinot noir, the proverbial femme fatale of grapes...



The Daily Sip

Wine adventure in the Anderson Valley

By The Daily Sip, August 17, 2012

Located northwest of Napa and Sonoma in Mendocino County, the Anderson Valley is a hidden gem for wine lovers. Known for pinot noir and varietals like gewürztraminer and riesling, the Anderson Valley is the perfect place for a wine-filled weekend getaway.

The Anderson Valley offers high-quality wines combined with an intimate tasting experience. We at the Daily Sip recently visited a variety of wineries, and at each we were able to sit down and talk directly with the winemaker, winery owner, and sometimes both. Highlights included talking to winemakers at Handley Cellars and Claudia Springs. Similarly, the friendly owners of Balo Vineyards and Bink Wines were happy to show and tell us their processes for making great wines. This kind of personal attention is rare in higher-profile wine regions.

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Big wine, beer in tiny Boonville

By Press Democrat, August 12, 2012

At one time it was so isolated local farmers and loggers developed their own language — Boontling — that a few old Boontners still speak today.

A day trip or weekend away in Boont, as it was known in the native patois, can still feel like you're heading out into the deep woods without straying too far off Highway 128.

Tiny Boonville, with slightly more than 1,000 inhabitants, is the commercial hub of the Anderson Valley and a central place to stay and eat while exploring the wineries, farmstands and parks of this pastoral stopping point between Cloverdale and the coast.

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Harold Bear Wine

Anderson Valley - A Relaxed Paradise, June 10, 2012

Named after Walter Anderson whose sons first viewed the valley in 1851, it is bifurcated by Highway 128 that wends its picturesque, two-lane way northwest from Cloverdale in northern Sonoma County to the Anderson Valley and then to the Mendocino coast. This fairly narrow valley is hemmed in by steep evergreen covered hillsides...
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Exploring Wine Country : Anderson Valley in Mendocino County

By Karla Erovick, June 20, 2012

Driving along winding country roads in search of fabulous Pinot Noir, sparkling wine and Alsace varietals has taken me into the rural roads of Mendocino County. The hillsides are a combination of terra cotta punctuated by dark green trees and shrubs. Emerging into the valley, vineyards and farms are in evidence. The temperature begins to drop, closer to the coast and the lush vegetation of leafy vineyards can be seen along the road and clinging to the hillsides...

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Anderson Noir Valley : the festival

By William Rusty Gaffney, June 24, 2012

The 15th Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival was held on June 18-20, 2012. Sponsored by the Anderson
Valley Winegrowers Association, this event originated 20 years ago with winery open houses, but was
formalized into a festival in 1997. The popularity of the festival has paralleled the rise in quality and notoriety of
Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, and offers a casual, country fair atmosphere accompanied by a cadre of
enthusiastic Pinot Noir winegrowers and winemakers. All Pinot Noir is from grapes grown exclusively in the
Anderson Valley...

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Best of Pinot at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival,

By Steve Ferree, May 8 2012

The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival on May 18-20 brings together some of the best Pinot Noirs from one of the best Pinot Noir regions.  This festival has something for everyone from technical sessions to winemaker dinners to winery open houses to a Grand Tasting with wines from 40 producers from around California.  This is a festival not to be missed by Pinot Noir lovers.       
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