California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 79

39

Winding Through
Wine Country
THE STANFORD INN BY THE SEA, MENDOCINO
OLE'S WHALE WATCH BAR

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP

There's more to Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino
counties than a bunch of tastings rooms
separated by rows of grapes. Explore the quirky
towns and rugged coastline as you spend a
weekend bouncing between family-owned
farms and ocean-view bars, all in celebration of
the natural bounty.

THE BEWILDERED PIG

PENNYROYAL FARM

Start your day in Napa at Oxbow Public Market, a riverside food hall
where a number of local restaurants and producers are gathered under
one roof. Grab breakfast tacos piled with pork carnitas from C CASA
or try The Model Bakery's English muffins, which Oprah famously has
delivered, via plane, when the urge strikes.
With a full belly, it's time to sample the region's most prized product:
wine. Hop on Highway 29 (which merges with Highway 128), the central

ARISTA WINERY,
HEALDSBURG

TAMBAR BAY
VINEYARDS

NOBLE FOLK ICE
CREAM + PIE BAR

thread through Napa County, on the way to Calistoga 45 minutes north.
Set on a working ranch, Tamber Bey Vineyards is known for its Pinot
Noirs and Cabernets, its herd of horses and, surprisingly, its cookies.
OXBOW PUBLIC
MARKET, NAPA

Pair your tasting with a selection of the savory shortbread treats to
bring out the best in the vintages.
Now, bid farewell to the Napa Valley as you continue north and east to
Healdsburg, the Sonoma County town that during Prohibition bragged
of being the "buckle of the Prune Belt." Today it's decidedly more posh.

340ish), The Bewildered Pig is a beguiling restaurant where chef

plaza slings seasonal pie and homemade ice cream in flavors like almond

Janelle Weaver spins magic out of ingredients like Point Noyo salmon

matcha and Thai tea. Grab a hefty slice and your scoop of choice.

and foraged greens. The food could easily draw crowds in San

Beyond the glitzy vineyards and boutiques, Sonoma County is an
agricultural hub at heart, evident as you roll past rows of grape vines
and apple trees on the way to Dry Creek Valley's Arista Winery. This

PHOTOGRAPH: TAI POWER SEEFF

Don't leave Anderson Valley without dinner. In tiny Philo (population:

Case in point: Noble Folk, an "ice cream and pie bar" on the historic

Francisco, but the ambience is rustic and warm, perfectly in tune with
its Mendocino County setting.
Follow the highway through towering redwood groves, and you'll

laid-back, family-operated estate offers small-lot Pinot Noirs and

arrive at the Pacific Coast and Highway 1, one of the state's most

Chardonnays from its 36-acre property. Sign up for the Taste of Terrior

famous roads. Take it north to Little River, where five generations of

experience to try your wine alongside a plate of the best produce

innkeepers have managed the Little River Inn and one of the North

grown in the onsite organic gardens.

Coast's favorite watering holes, Ole's Whale Watch Bar. Pull up a stool,

Swing back over to the 101, then cut west on Highway 128, a winding

order a pint, and keep an eye on the ocean for spouts.

world of sprawling farms and rolling hills. Follow the California Cheese

Two miles farther, your journey comes to an end atop the dramatic

Trail to Boonville's Pennyroyal Farm, where a herd of goats and sheep

bluffs in Mendocino. At The Stanford Inn by the Sea, pets are welcome,

produce milk for small-batch, handcrafted cheeses. After a farm tour

views are epic, and every stay includes mountain bike rentals and

or tasting, hop back on the highway and continue to Balo Vineyards,

a daily chef's breakfast using ingredients from the organic garden.

a low-key spot nestled on 14 acres in Mendocino County's Anderson

Light your wood-burning fireplace and settle in for a good night's rest.

Valley, where visitors taste balanced Pinot Noir and play bocce on

Tomorrow you can paddle an outrigger canoe on the Big River and

outdoor courts.

continue your California exploration.

79



California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

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