When my girlfriends and I decided to plan a weekend getaway, we wanted to go to a wine region we had not been to. As wine writers, we thought that might be difficult but it turned out none of us had been to Mendocino County, located north of Sonoma on the coast of California. This hidden gem was the perfect place for a fun weekend and I wrote about it in the Napa Valley Register which I share here.
It’s Mendocino, not Montecito. It’s Anderson Valley, not Alexander Valley. Located just over an hour north of Healdsburg, on the coast of California, Mendocino is the out-of-the-way wine country. It is not near any urban areas. It is remote. It is not carpeted with vines but rather interspersed with other agriculture. It is a secret corner of California and one that I went to explore with some girlfriends and fellow wine writers for a weekend.
Mendocino County is a hidden gem filled with rolling hills along the coast. In addition to wineries, breweries and delightful New England-esque towns to explore, there are charming inns to stay in.
Traveling to wine country is a fun getaway. There are many regions to visit along the west coast, and the Willamette Valley in Oregon is one of them. We fly into Portland and drive to the charming town of McMinnville, only one hour away. It seems that McMinnville is a central spot to explore the Willamette Valley. But, the Willamette Valley is much larger than you would think. It is more than Portland to Salem. It actually extends to Eugene. Heading to the South Willamette Valley is a quieter, more rural experience which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and am sharing here.
In the last few years, the Willamette Valley has been receiving extraordinary press, ratings and awards for its wines. It makes up only one percent of the wine made in the United States but is ranked fifth in production and third in number of wineries. More and more people are traveling to the Willamette Valley to explore the wonderful Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Pinot Gris and more.