Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hidden Anderson Valley

An hour after passing the more famous Sonoma Valley and already discovered Alexander Valley, we come along the lesser known and therefore less crowded Anderson Valley where you can still get free wine tasting.  It is here that you drive through the town of Philo, home of Navarro Winery

where you may be lucky enough to find the owner himself pouring and sharing his knowledge on the different wines and grape juices. 
Yes, grape juices that will give kids and designated drivers their own tasting experience. 

I was first introduced to Navarro Winery at Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco about 15 years ago when I ordered a glass of their gewürztraminer grape juice and just fell in love at first sip over this sweet and refreshing ambrosia.  So when I came across the actual winery on the way to Mendocino a year later, it was the perfect stop to pick up a few bottles of their grape juice which has since expanded to include a pinot noir and the sour verjus grape juice. 
After your tasting under the wine bottle chandeliers in their tasting room,

you can enjoy a leisurely picnic on their beautiful immaculate grounds surrounded by their vineyard, lavender and fruit trees.  With a choice of picnic tables and benches under an arbor,
metal tables and chairs for two tucked into the nooks and crannies of the lavender, curved benches just to relax
or the additional seating by the fountain across the lot, you almost feel as if you are in your own little world. 


Reminiscent of Sonoma and Alexander Valley of 20 years ago unpretentious Anderson Valley is a destination in itself or a perfect stop on the way to Mendocino. 

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