Lula Cellars in the Anderson Valley – Pinot Noir is plentiful
If you are a Pinot Noir enthusiast, the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County is where you want to go for a wine country getaway. Between the unconventional towns of Boonville and Navarro on Highway 128 are 18 gorgeous miles of vineyard land and wineries specializing in Pinot Noir. Unlike many other Pinot Noir wine growing regions, there is room for more Pinot Noir in the Anderson Valley. The weather is the perfect climate for this finicky grape. At Lula Cellars in the Anderson Valley, you see evidence of the expansion of Pinot Noir on our photo above. Owner and winemaker Jeff Hansen planted these vines just a few years ago. The vines are young but will be ready to yield sufficient grapes for this year’s harvest. There are five acres planted next to the tasting room and more to come. The photo shows why Pinot Noir flourishes in this area of the Anderson Valley. Almost every day, morning fog is present. I shot this photo at 11.am. In one to two hours, the vineyards will bask in gentle sunlight. By mid afternoon, the Pacific Ocean breeze will pick up and provide cool ocean air to the vines. This is Pinot Noir land!
At Lula Cellars, Jeff Hansen currently produces four different Pinot Noir wines. Two of the Pinot Noir wines come from an unusual area not in the Anderson Valley, but very close by in the town of Comptche. It is a mountain town with an elevation of 600 feet. Jeff sources his fruit from the Costa Vineyard and the Peterson Vineyard. These are both delicious Pinot Noir wines, as are his two Mendocino Pinots. Jeff also produces a Gerwurztraminer, bone dry and perfect for a picnic lunch. Jeff has planted one acre of Gerwurztraminer at Lula Cellars. The last wine we tasted when we visited was an amazing and spicy Zinfandel from Mariah Vineyards. These grapes are sourced from the Mendocino Ridge AVA at an elevation of 2600 feet.
The Lula Cellars tasting room is open daily from 10am to 6 pm. Nearby are plenty of wineries to visit. We have listed our favorites on the Anderson Valley Wine Trail. If you have time, we suggest you head west on Highway 128 and explore the Navarro State Park. The park has some of the most magnificent Coastal Redwoods in the area. On the coast is the romantic town of Mendocino, and it’s definitely worth the 40-minute drive and at least a one-night stay over.