Anderson Valley in The News

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


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

by 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

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

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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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

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:
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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Press Democrat

Big wine, beer in tiny Boonville
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, June20, 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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15th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Festival: May 18-20, Philo, CA
by Alder Yarrow, May 2 2012
California Pinot Noir lovers take note. Wine lovers with a free weekend, listen up. It's Spring, and the wine events are coming fast and furious. It seems like every week there's a new wine tasting to go to. But some are more worth paying attention to than others.

Anderson Valley is known for two things in California, and not coincidentally, it has more or less two major wine tasting events per year. The first, the International Alsace Varietals festival took place a few months ago.

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Anderson Noir Valley, February 2012

Anderson Valley wine producers are relatively isolated, do not have a prominent public marketing campaign, and lack a significant tourist influx due to a paucity of infrastructure, but the Pinot Noir from this bucolic valley is exceptional, perhaps unrivaled by any other Pinot Noir growing region in California. Anderson Valley first achieved validation as a premium grape growing region in the early 1980s when Roederer Estate established extensive plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and made sparkling wines of the highest caliber. In the last two decades, the region has placed an emphasis on still Pinot Noir. 

 Click here to read the entire article


Cervins Central Coast

Alsace in America : Mendocino Memories

by Michael Cervin February 22, 2012

So, what if there were a wine festival which was unpretentious, fun, not the least bit crowded, where international winemakers and their wines congregated together, all set in beautiful surroundings and was, well, just way cool? Well there is. The International Alsace Varietals Festival arrives each February in Mendocino (slightly north of Sonoma), and with it, a die-hard contention of Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris enthusiasts. And we’re not talking flabby sweet wines which taste like packets of Equal mixed with water. We’re talking serious non-sweet, semi-sweet and luscious sweet white wines which will literally change your mind about what a white wine can be...

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2012 Anderson Valley Alsace Varietals Festival: February 18, Boonville, CA

by Alder yarrow, February 10, 2012

Enter what may be the most unique wine festival in California and perhaps the country. Some of the most under-appreciated and least consumed wines in the state are those made from grapes like Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. There aren't a lot of places in California where these grapes thrive, but the Anderson Valley, three hours north of San Francisco, is the de-facto home for growing and making wines from these varietals in the style common to the French border region of Alsace.

California-grown Alsace-style (don't call them Alsatian, that's a dog) wines are not plentiful, nor are they particularly well publicized, but that seems to suit both the winemakers of Anderson Valley, and the folks who have been happily buying their wines for years. But in the interest of spreading the word, and the love, a couple of years ago all the winemakers who produce these wines decided that they needed to get together to showcase and celebrate their shared passion.

2012 marks the 7th Annual Anderson Valley Alsace Varietals Festival. The event continues to draw a loyal following of wine lovers as well as those curious (and lucky) enough to make the trek into the idyllic green of Anderson Valley in February....

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Two Guys From Napa

Favorites in Anderson Valley, January 2012

Anderson Valley may be the best known wine-growing region in Mendocino County. Located near the Pacific Coast, this 15 mile long valley has a wide diurnal range, in that the daily high and low temperatures can be up to 40 or 50 degrees apart. The appellation also ranges in elevation from sea level up to 2500 feet.

The climate and geography here create an excellent growing region for Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, and the Anderson Valley is well known for those varietals as both still wines and sparkling wines. Riesling and Gewurztraminer also grow well here...

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Wine Country This Week

Alsace Varietals Festival Showcases International Whites

January 2012

For the seventh consecutive year, the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association will host the International Alsace Varietals Festival – an event that has become a popular showcase for Alsace-style white wines from around the world. The 2012 festival, to be held February 18-19, will also feature a celebrity chef cooking demonstration and a New Zealand Riesling challenge.
Producers from both near and far will pour five highlighted varietals during the two-day celebration: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat. Festival events will include a technical conference, a cooking demonstration by Food Network star chef Beau MacMillan, a grand tasting, a group winemaker dinner and winery open houses.

click here to read the entire article

International Alsace Varietals Festival February 18

By Steve Ferree, January 2012

There is only one wine festival dedicated to Alsace-style wines and the Anderson Valley wineries are hosting the event, the 7th Annual International Alsace Varietals Festival, on February 18. This unique and exclusive wine tasting event will feature a celebration of Alsace-style wines, local foods, entertainment and more with wineries from around the world participating...

Click here to read the entire article


Via Magazine

California's Highway 128
By Chris Colin, October 2011
Look closely as you travel on Highway 128, the winding ribbon connecting Highway 101 with California’s coast, and you’ll notice Bay Area drivers slapping their foreheads: How have I never been here? Anderson Valley works hard to preserve the feeling of seclusion responsible for its peaceful, timeless vibe—the town of Boonville even had its own language for a while. But once you’re here, the vineyards, teeny towns, and rolling hills deliver a thorough welcome. A tour of the region’s trees alone is worth it, as palms give way to lichen-draped oaks, then ghostly eucalyptus and finally massive redwoods—all in 60 miles. The so-called “tunnel to the sea” that winds through misty old-growth forest? Says Pat Daniels, the longtime tasting-room manager at Navarro Vineyards: “For me, that’s church.”...
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Wild West Pinot draws Banker to vineyards among cannabis crop

By Elin McCoy, October 24, 2011

... With its marginal climate of warm, sunny days, cold foggy nights, long growing season and steep hillsides, this remote 15- mile-long valley in northwest Mendocino has become the spot for classic, balanced pinots with lively acidity and lower alcohol.Think rose-and-spice scents, subtle crushed-cherry and plum flavors, silky richness, and Burgundy-like complexity.

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SF Chronicle

As Pinot Noir evolves, Anderson Valley grows up

By Jon Bonne, October 9, 2011

Philo, Mendocino County -- Anderson Valley was once California's little secret, a remote Mendocino nook protected from the sea but still drawing in the coastal chill.

From the 1970s it was home to a handful of back-to-landers, labels like Navarro and Lazy Creek, that showed a fondness for Alsatian varieties like Gewurztraminer plus the occasional Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. Then sparkling winemakers like Roederer Estate and Scharffenberger came calling. If grapes might not always ripen for still wine in the persistent fog, they'd thrive as a base for bubbly.

When Pinot did ripen, it gave Anderson Valley a reputation for wine that showed the purest qualities of that grape: bright red fruit, heady scents of earth and forest, a mineral tension that was increasingly rare in California wine. As Pinot elsewhere grew burlier, Anderson Valley was the loyal opposition. That suited its reputation as an insular spot - one whose residents of the village of Boonville once devised their own language, Boontling, to rebuff outsiders...
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Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 

By Jon Bonne, October 9, 2011

It's wonderful to see Anderson Valley back in form.

Among nearly 40 bottles tasted, there was a clear division of styles (see cover story), but wines from a number of familiar names show both the complexity and subtlety that brought the area attention in the first place. These aren't wines that do a Salomé dance of immediate allure; they're often slightly shy and restrained at first, needing time and air to show their full depths.

But that's what Anderson Valley has always been able to provide, in the tradition of the finest Pinot. With 2009 it's clear that its innate potential is as strong as ever.

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What's your favorite wine getaway
By Russ Parsons, September 22, 2011
"After 25 years of writing about food and wine, I don't really take 'wine vacations' any more. But I do quite often wind up vacationing at places where wine is made. Probably my favorite is Mendocino County [in Northern California]. There are a lot of really good, very individual wines coming out of there right now. My favorite part is the Anderson Valley, which lies between Ukiah and the Pacific, along Highway 128. You climb up through the Yorkville Highlands, which is really coming into its own, pass through Boonville, and then hit the wine trail...
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Huffington Post

The top Ten Off the beaten path wine country experiences
By Tom Wark, September 15, 2011
Wine Country beckons to Bay Areans looking for a nearby getaway. But if you are like most visitors to Grapeland, your weekend will have you lined up elbow-to-elbow at well-traveled winery tasting rooms, browsing and buying grape-shaped trinkets and eating at the same fancy Wine Country restaurants as the couple that muscled by you at the bar at the last tasting room you visited that day.
The solution is to get off the beaten Wine Country path and experience the Wine Country less traveled. Here are my top 10 ways to create a unique wine country experience.
1. Find the Less Traveled Wine Valley -- Anderson Valley
Located about 100 miles north of San Francisco in Mendocino County between Highway 101 and the Pacific Coast, Anderson Valley is an isolated, bucolic, narrow wine region that has a host of tasting rooms that aren't crowded and deliver some of the finest Pinot Noir and delicate white varietals in the land. Anderson Valley is strewn with small B&B's, small hamlets and, most important, a lack of crowds...
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Los Angeles Times

Traveling north: Mendocino, Part I                 
By Russ Parsons, August 15, 2011
...The airline schedule has changed, but now a much earlier flight gets us to the Anderson Valley at almost exactly the same time. The Anderson Valley is one of the most picturesque wine regions in California, a state lousy with them. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the drive along Highway 128 west from Cloverdale to the coast is one of my favorite road trips in the state as well.You climb corkscrewing through the Yorkville Highlands, pass through the determinedly quaint town of Boonville and then comes the wine country, punctuated by majestic allees of redwood trees...
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Wines and Vines

Wineries Promote Isolated Anderson Valley
By Paul Franson, August 9, 2011
Anderson Valley, Calif.—It’s not often that much news originates from sleepy Anderson Valley in California’s Mendocino County, but this week, there’s a flood.
To start, four tasting room/wineries have formed the Wineries of Downtown Boonville to promote both local wines and the town. The name is a bit tongue in cheek, as anyone knows who has visited the hamlet: Downtown Boonville is about two blocks long...
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Napa Valley Register

Mendocino offers friendly, informal tastings and fine wines
By Paul Franson, August 4, 2011
Though Napa and Sonoma get most of the attention, other counties in California have their winemaking charms, too.
One county that gets little attention is also one of the most interesting. Mendocino County lies north of Sonoma along the wild and cold Pacific Coast....Anderson Valley is one of my favorite wine-growing regions, pinot noir one of my favorite wines and Mendocino one of my favorite places to visit, so attending the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival in June is an easy decision for me...
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Andersonoir Valley Pinot Noir Festival
By William Rusty Gaffney, July 1, 2011
... Veteran Anderson Valley winemaker, Bob Klindt (Claudia Springs Winery, Harmonique), called 2009 “a typical growing season in the Anderson Valley.” Larry Londer of Londer Vineyards said, “The quality of the 2009 vintage in the Anderson Valley parallels the 2007 vintage, and may surpass it.” Winter rains were lighter than usual, and a mid-May heat wave brought high temperatures for the second consecutive year. Bud break was late and spring was generally cool but not accompanied by frost. The summer was moderate and relatively cool allowing slow ripening and a prolonged harvest which began in mid-September and finished the last week of October. A late September heat wave brought grapes quickly to optimum ripeness and a large October storm provided a challenge that most vintners avoided...
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Serious eats

Digging deeper into Pinot Noir : Mendocino County, California
By Maggie Hoffman, June 28, 2011
... Over the past few months, I've tasted an assortment of pinots from Mendocino County, an area a few hours north of San Francisco and west of Sacramento in California. Many of the wines we tried were from Anderson Valley along the western edge of the county...              Click here to read the entire article

Simple Hedonisms

Highlights and top picks of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
By William Allen, June 12, 2011
May 20-22nd was the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. It was a busy wine weekend, with overlapping events including Taste Alexander Valley. I had missed the last few years Anderson Valley Pinot Festival due to similar conflicts, and decided to prioritize the event this year. I headed first to Scharffenberger Cellars , who hosted a media tasting, then over to Goldeneye for the walk around tasting. The day prior was a series of technical seminars and tastings, I unfortunately missed, a mistake I will not repeat in 2012.
I will gush in more detail about both, but this is not to be missed event for Pinot-philes...
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Wine Spectator

Arguing Pinot Noir on the Road to Anderson Valley
By Tim Fish, April 12, 2011
Quarreling over Pinot Noir styles is a favorite pastime for wine lovers who have more spare time than I do. It's basically an Old World versus New World argument, the classically graceful reds of Burgundy against the boldly flavored Pinots of California. For those of us who manage to love both, the whole thing seems like nonsense.
That may be why I like the Pinot Noirs (and most of the other wines) of Anderson Valley in Northern California's Mendocino County. At their best, the wines balance elegance and a sense of place with rich and complex fruit, a satisfying reconciliation of the Old and New Worlds.
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International Alsace Varietals Festival
By Terah Bajjalieh, Mar 1, 2011
This was my first visit to the Mendocino wine growing region. I was very surprised at how beautiful this region is – rural forests with vineyard-filled rolling hills. The area is situated right on the Northern coast of California, so you can drive through forests for miles and then find yourself looking over at the sea. The sites are quite stunning and dramatic...
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Thoughts on the wines of aslace and their cousins
By Alder Yarrow, Feb 21, 2011
I was in the valley for the International Alsace Varietals Festival -- a celebration of the wines made in (and in the style of) France's Alsace region. That means wines made of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and various combinations thereof. Anderson Valley has been producing wines of these varieties for many years, and with much (but often overlooked) acclaim. Every Spring, the region celebrates its heritage, and these wines, by holding a series of events, including a tasting of wines, a technical conference, and a series of dinners for wine lovers, the trade, and the press. 
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The New York Times

California Farmland, Known for Its Drinks
By Freda Moon, October 13, 2010
Cradled between ridges of coastal redwoods and inland oaks, and laced by the narrow, meandering Navarro River, Anderson Valley is a two-hour drive from San Francisco in Mendocino County’s under-appreciated interior. ...Here, there are no tour buses shuttling visitors from winery to winery; no posh spas or chi-chi restaurants with multimonth waiting lists. ...Though Anderson Valley is an easy overnight trip from the Bay Area, it seems far removed — both in geography and in time. But that remoteness is an attribute, a full-bodied gasp of air. ...
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Wine Spectator Magazine

Anderson Valley & Mendocino Rugged beauty and eccentricity amid the California redwoods
By Tim Fish
On the long and winding road to Anderson Valley and the Mendocino coast, even grown men ask, "Are we there yet?" California wine country doesn't get farther from the beaten path. There's a stubborn, undomesticated beauty here, from the high rocky bluffs of the coast to the charismatically rustic landscape of the valley. ... But if you like visiting folksy little wineries, drinking unfussy and fruit-forward wines, having dinner by a fire and getting some peace and quiet, this is your wine country. ...
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The San Francisco Chronicle

Gewurztraminer's passionate California devotees
By Steve Pitcher, August 2, 2009
Gewurztraminer occupies a special niche in California. Its fans are enthusiastically loyal. It's often as expensive as some other top whites - in the $16 to $27 range - which makes selling it to the uninitiated a daunting effort. The Teutonic name leads to an erroneous suspicion that the wine is always sweet.
Yet Gewurztraminer producers persist in their efforts. It can only be attributed to a labor of love. ...
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San Francisco Examiner

Anderson Valley: the other wine country