A Weekend in Anderson Valley Wine Country

Northern California is filled with wine countries to choose from that make perfect weekend getaways and if you’re looking for a chance to head away from the crowds, enjoy prestigious wine and beautiful scenery the Anderson Valley Wine Country in Mendocino County is the perfect fit.

The Anderson Valley Wine Country is a two and a half hour drive up from San Francisco, making it a bit of an out of the way destination but at the same time giving it a laid-back feel away from the tourists that flock areas closer to the city. Often a stop on the way to or from the Mendocino Coast, Anderson Valley is a destination in itself where you’ll lose your cell phone service, check out, and take in everything the valley has to offer.What to do is Anderson Valley. Plan your weekend getaway to Anderson Valley Wine Country in California's Mendocino County. Place to eat, wine taste, stay and more. Top things to do.

Note: Some tours and meals were provided at no cost to the author. As always, all opinions remain my own. You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you. 

First Things, First – Wine Tasting

It’s wine country, and while the region has much more to offer you should spend an afternoon or two trying some of the local wines. You’ll find wineries ranging from small family spots to major producers. The region is best known for it’s Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The climate of foggy mornings and sunny days builds a unique characteristic in the grapes.

In Philo, stop by Lula Cellars,  where you will find Pinot Noirs from throughout Mendocino County; giving you a chance to find the different characteristics around the region. Jeff Hansen, who brings 30 years of winemaking experience creates delicious reds and whites all on a beautiful property.  Have a tasting and then relax by their pond on property.What to do is Anderson Valley. Plan your weekend getaway to Anderson Valley Wine Country in California's Mendocino County. Place to eat, wine taste, stay and more. Top things to do.

If you’re looking for a spot to picnic while enjoying top-notch wines Navarro Vineyards is your spot. With a beautiful property and views across the valley, you can relax under their shaded trellis with some wine and cheese. At Navarro, you’ll find a wide variety of wines from sweet whites to dry ones and reds including the standards but also unique ones like Barbaras and Grenache. It’s a spot that can please anyone’s palette.

Just down the road, you’ll find Roederer Estate which offers the tradition of the 200 plus year old Champagne house that brings you Cristol. Roederer’s sparkling wines made with California grapes are some of the best you can find in the state. If you’re a fan of bubbly this is a can’t miss California wine destination.What to do is Anderson Valley. Plan your weekend getaway to Anderson Valley Wine Country in California's Mendocino County. Place to eat, wine taste, stay and more. Top things to do.

For an elegant finish try Goldeneye Wines which is owned by Duckhorn and offers a beautiful seated tasting. Try a variety of Pinots from around Anderson Valley and nearby regions, Order their cheese plate as well and relax in their beautiful tasting room or out on the patio.

But Don’t Forget the Brews & Ciders

Best known for its wine, you can also find one of California’s most respected craft breweries in the Anderson Valley. Don’t miss this Northern California staple at Anderson Valley Brewery. Take a tour of the brewery and visit the tap room where you can explore the variety of beers they produce. Whether it’s their Boont Amber ale, their Summer Solstice or monthly releases it’s worth tasting through their beers to find out what you like.

Craft cider is also growing here in Northern California and in Boonville, you’ll find Bite Hard Cider who offers semi-dry and dry style ciders. While they don’t offer a tasting room at this point you can try them at a variety of locations around the Anderson Valley whether you pick them up at Single Ridge Vineyards tasting room at Madrones.

Enjoy the Local Eats

Take a chance to enjoy some food with your drinks around the valley. From local products to delicious meals, both casual and classy you’ll enjoy eating your way through the valley.

For a unique experience stop by Pennyroyal Farm, where you can tour this local farm and cheese producer. Learn more about the agricultural efforts of the area and wrap up with a delectable cheese tasting. Or swing by the Philo Apple Farm stand for fresh produce from the region.

Grab a picnic from the Boonville General Store where you can get sandwiches to go, side salads, tasty local cheese, wines and everything else you need. I’ve found some of the perfect wine country meals are often picked up from local delis and general stores.

For a meal that makes you feel like it’s been cooked in someone’s grandma’s kitchen stop by Lauren’s right in Boonville.

Getting Outside

Mendocino County, the home of Anderson Valley Wine Country is just as well known for its outdoor adventures and scenery as it’s wine. While you can head over to the coast for beautiful views there are many things to do outside right in the Anderson Valley.What to do is Anderson Valley. Plan your weekend getaway to Anderson Valley Wine Country in California's Mendocino County. Place to eat, wine taste, stay and more. Top things to do.

Head into the breathtaking redwood forests at Hendy Woods State Park. Here you can take a variety of hikes throughout the woods or even camp for you stay.

Where to Stay

There are unique places to stay right in Anderson Valley Wine Country or you can drive 20 minutes and stay on the coast, take a look at my favorite spot. If you’re looking to stick around wine country check out The Madrones, a four-star hotel right in the valley where you can enjoy a top-notch restaurant and wine tasting rooms on property.

Or stay at the Philo Apple Farm where you can enjoy their beautiful property and the boutique feel or even book one of their cook and stay adventures where you not only stay on property but also get to cook a fresh meal or two with their own produce.

While there are few hotels in the valley there are many Airbnb properties in the region. Whether you’re looking for a private room to rent or a whole house for a group of friends or family you can find a spot nearby. If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet you can grab $30 credit for your first trip here (FYI – I get a credit too).

Relax, Enjoy, Sip & Eat in Anderson Valley Wine Country

The Anderson Valley Wine County is a perfect place to take off for a weekend to check out and do as much or as little as you’d like. Spend your time sleeping in, enjoying good food and taking in the beautiful scenery or pack it in with places to visit and explore.

There is something about being in Mendocino County that it makes you relax and let go of the complications of your everyday life, it’s just enough out of the way to feel like a real escape even if you’re just visiting for a night. For more activities in Mendocino check out my best things to do list.

What do you look for on a weekend getaway? Have you visited Anderson Valley Wine Country? If so what did you enjoy most? Leave a comment below.Just down the road, you'll find Roederer Estate which offers a tradition of the 200 plus year old Champagne house that brings you Cristol made with California grapes. If you're a fan of bubbly this is a can't miss California wine destination.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the political world in California, but on evening and weekends spends time exploring the West Coast and more. All while encouraging others to join in on the adventures.

  • This sounds like a great place to be! I love that they had champagne and cider. I like wine but really like cider and you can’t go wrong with a good champagne. Plus the scenery looked amazing!

  • Elaine J Masters

    We drive to Fort Bragg once a year and love stopping in Anderson Valley. So true about cell phone coverage being sketchy. Once waited for 5 hours for help with a tire problem (rental had no spare!) But I love visiting all the same (and sipping when we can.)

    • Oh no! I can entirely see that happening. Hopefully you got to relax with a glass of wine afterwards.

  • Food and wine are definitely the best reason for travel of any kind for us. Anderson Valley wine country sounds ideal. Champagne, food and scenery, well sign us up!

    • I’ve realized food is my number one item when I think of traveling!

  • Mel

    This is my idea of heaven! A weekend of wine and countryside? Oh yeah! 😉 I’ve been to California but never to wine country. Definitely a place I’d love to check out next time I go, it looks very serene and a perfect backdrop to glass or two of a night. Very jealous of you! 🙂

    • My favorite time of weekend as well. You’ll just have to add it to your next trip out to California.

  • That sounds like a great option. We usually prefer somewhere like Anderson Valley that’s a bit less busy and touristy.

    • Exactly. It’s so much easier to relax without the crowds

  • Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    Even though it’s a little further out, I think it’s worth it to go to an area that’a a little less crowded. I’d really like to try the Rieslings. I prefer sweet wines. Thanks for bringing Anderson Valley Wine Country to our attention!

    • They have some great ones even though I’m not a huge fan of the sweet ones.

  • Jenna

    I always love visiting wineries, and that food spread in the first photo looks amazing! It’s great that they have brews and ciders as well–it’s fun to mix them up a bit! The Anderson Valley are sounds like a fantastic weekend getaway!

    • Exactly! As much as I love wine I even have to mix it up a bit.

  • Christina

    Sounds like a great weekend getaway when in San Francisco. I like to go to craft breweries so will keep Anderson Valley in mind.

    • Both Anderson Valley and then up on the Mendocino Coast have some great breweries. Well worth exploring.

  • Your photos make me feel go there right away. I have been to quite a few
    vineyards and I just love them. Anderson Valley looks quite scenic.

    • Thanks Nisha. It’s also a beautiful drive to get there.

  • Sharon Sullivan

    Hi Megan – beautiful story – I live here and I want to visit. However, Cristal is not made with California grapes. We do sell Cristal but don’t taste it. We are strictly a domestic Sparkling Wine. Again, thanks for a great read.

    • Sharon – Thanks! I’m sorry if the sentence was misleading. I was trying to say that Roederer is owned by the same Champagne house that makes Cristol. Not that Roederer produces it. Appreciate the catch though, I’ll make an edit so others aren’t confused.

  • Sharon Sullivan

    Thank you, Megan!

  • Kate-Frankie Brennan

    Cheese and wine? Ok, I’m sold! This looks like a beautiful place. Your photos are great and I would love to go here for a weekend sometime

  • Karilyn (NoBackHome)

    After so many years in the Bay Area I never heard of Anderson Valley! What a find! Sounds like a beautiful place to explore on a weekend retreat!

  • Mags

    This looks like a dream. I’ve wanted to visit California’s Wine Country for a while now. I really think it’s time to make that happen.

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