Art and Vino at Maple Creek Winery
Once in a while, a wine traveler will feel the need for something different in a winery. A visit to Artevino – Maple Creek Winery is one of those wine experiences that will linger.
Artevino winery is off the beaten path in the Yorkville Highlands AVA. Yorkville Highlands is in southern Mendocino County and just outside the border of the Alexander Valley AVA. Take Highway 128 in Cloverdale to the west. You can take Highway 128 all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Artevino Maple Creek is 30 minutes from the Cloverdale turn off. You will love this rustic little winery.
Artist Tom Rodrigues decides to make wine
It all began for Tom Rodrigues in 2001. An artist by trade in Marin County Tom decides to move from a busy lifestyle to a more quiet life in Mendocino County. He buys the old Maple Creek winery and begins to learn how to make wine with the help of a consulting winemaker. With his skills as an artist, he adds his art work as a refreshing touch to the wines and the winery.
Our first visit to Artevino was in 2008. We recently visited again. It was quite an enjoyable trip, with Tom Rodrigues working in the tasting room. Tom feels his best wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. His vineyards are in a cool climate area of the Yorkville Highlands. There is one wine at Artevino that you are unlikely to find in any other wine travels. It is Symphony. Symphony is a California grape that is a cross between a Muscat and Grenache Gris. The Symphony vineyards were on the property when Tom took over. The Artevino Symphony matches perfectly with spicy foods. Bringing home a bottle or two of Symphony leads to great conversation with friends.
The tasting room has many of Tom’s artworks, and they are a pleasure to browse. Besides the paintings, the tasting room is friendly and welcoming. A sign on the door reads, “Enter as Strangers, Leave as Friends!” If you plan to visit, the tasting room is open daily 11am to 5 pm. Travelers can combine a visit to Artevino with other wineries in the Yorkville Highlands, or wineries in the Anderson Valley just 20 minutes away.
Check our map below to view a list of wineries along the famous Highway 128. Many folks head to the romantic town of Mendocino on the Coast. Stopping at one or two wineries along the way always adds enjoyment to a visit to Mendocino.