The Wine Traveler in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino – Boonville


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Joe Becerra

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Here we are in the famed Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. This is the land of Pinot Noir and Alsatian varietal wines. On this trip we are exploring the wineries in this area that are found along Highway 128 West, the beautiful Highway that leads from Highway 101 to the Pacific Ocean.

There are actually two distinct wine regions along this stretch of Highway 128. Besides the Anderson Valley there is the Yorkville wine region. The Yorkville, just west of Highway 101, takes a backseat to the more famous Anderson Valley, but nonetheless there are wineries in Yorkville making terrific wines from this wine region.
We are spending the night in Boonville at the Boonville Hotel. Boonville is the main town on Highway 128, and supposedly the center point of this wine area. The Boonville Hotel has a restaurant that has been recommended in many travel and wine magazines, most recently the Wine Spectator. Unfortunately, the night we are lodging at the hotel the restaurant is closed. It is only open Thursday to Sunday. Our room is tiny and we are paying $140 per night, and this is discounted $35 because the restaurant is closed. What a deal!

The town of Boonville has few fun things to do if you are not visiting tasting rooms. There is a gourmet coffee shop and bakery and a café with very good organic delights. In nearby Philo, there is an apple farm to visit and Hendy Redwoods State Park for some beautiful hiking trails.

There are a few restaurants in town other than the Boonville Hotel restaurant. There is the Boonville Lodge and Lauren’s Place. Lauren’s Place is the local’s hangout and that is where we decide to dine for dinner. Our meal is decent, nothing to brag about but better than we expected. The wine list has many local wines at great prices for a restaurant. We had an Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah for $25. This wine sells for $22 in wine shops.

This is our first stay in Boonville and most likely our last. We much prefer to drive to the town of Mendocino, about an hour’s drive from Boonville. The ocean is so beautiful at Mendocino and there are a plethora of great restaurants and B&B’s to enjoy. Ignore the travel mags and head straight to Mendocino and visit the wineries along the way. We will blog our favorites in our next few posts.

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.