Anderson Valley Wine Tour 2021: Top 10 Wineries to Visit

Anderson Valley is one of the most lesser-known AVAs in California, but its stunning scenery and remarkable wines make it truly an underlooked gem.

The region produces some of the finest sparkling wines and Pinot Noir you’ll find in the United States, so if you have a soft spot for these types of wines, you can’t go wrong with Anderson Valley.

Planning on visiting this AVA? Here are the 10 best wineries in Anderson Valley that you need to check out.

What Wine Is Anderson Valley Known For?

Anderson Valley is located in Mendocino County in California and is mostly known for its Pinot Noir wine. Alongside this varietal, sparkling wine and Chardonnay are also commonly found here.

The region has a cool climate with foggy mornings and wet autumns, which originally made it challenging to grow red wines like Pinot Noir. However, in the 1980s, French scientists produced varieties of Pinot Noir that could ripen in cool climates like Anderson Valley.

Since then, the valley’s flagship wine has been Pinot Noir, but they are almost as acclaimed for their magnificent sparkling wines.

Related Read: 6 Best Wineries Of Central Coast California

Top 10 Wineries in Anderson Valley

Best Wineries in Anderson Valley Map:

Toulouse Vineyards & Winery: Tranquil Scenery

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One of the best wineries in Anderson Valley is the charming Toulouse Vineyards & Winery, surrounded by redwoods and oak trees. The peaceful landscape creates a tranquil atmosphere, which is perfect for drinking wine in.

All of the winery’s wines are bottled on-site and crafted with care to ensure impeccable quality. The inviting tasting room is open daily for tastings, but you’ll need to book an appointment beforehand.

As soon as you enter the winery’s doors, you’ll be greeted by their friendly and knowledgeable staff who will be happy to accommodate you and make sure you have a memorable visit.

Editor’s Note: The winery’s 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir is one of their standout wines, crafted from estate-picked Pinot Noir grapes. It has a silky creaminess and tantalizing dryness, which pair well with its tart strawberry hints.

Lula Cellars: Intimate Outdoor Tastings

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Featuring world-class wines and stunning views, Lula Cellars is definitely worth checking out when you’re in Anderson Valley. They specialize in Pinot Noir, but they also produce a variety of other high-quality wines.

Lula Cellars offers an outdoor tasting experience, which costs $10 per person and includes a selection of their current releases. Tastings are complimentary for club members and with any bottle purchase.

The winery’s picturesque outdoor area provides a personal and intimate experience for wine tasting, complete with views of their beautiful estate vineyard.

Editor’s Note: Not sure what to drink at this winery? Opt for their award-winning 2018 Pinot Noir, which has aromas and flavors of floral plum, cherry, and French oak.

Pennyroyal Farm: Handmade Cheeses

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Pennyroyal Farm is renowned for their exquisite cheeses, but they also craft an array of luxurious wines, so it’s the ideal place if you’re both a cheese and wine lover! Their outdoor patio is open Thursday to Monday, but make sure you reserve ahead of time as they tend to get quite busy!

If you’re interested in learning more about how Pennyroyal Farm makes their wines and cheeses, they offer farm tours, which involve a walkthrough of their solar-powered barn to meet their animals, as well as an explanation of their cheesemaking and winemaking methods.

The tour ends with a mouthwatering cheese tasting and wine flight or juice for non-drinkers.

Pennyroyal Farm hosts seasonal events, such as harvest weekends, so make sure you take a look at what they have planned for your visit.

Editor’s Note: While any of Pennyroyal Farm’s wines are fantastic, the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc is particularly divine. It has notes of honeydew, tarragon, and white pepper, which pairs well with their rich Laychee cheese.

Husch Vineyards & Winery: Historic Tasting Room

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Founded in 1971, Husch Vineyards & Winery is the oldest winery in Anderson Valley and is well-known for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer wines. They produce 22 different wines, all of which taste phenomenal.

Husch Vineyards are committed to making high-quality wines and handpick all the grapes in their vineyards, ensuring each one is fit to produce world-class wine.

The winery’s rustic tasting room is a converted pony barn that dates back to the 1800s, making it an intriguing and charming place to enjoy wine. Tastings include a preselected flight of 6 wines and are limited to groups of 6.

The winery’s helpful and attentive staff will be happy to assist you with any inquiries and make you feel welcome.

Editor’s Note: Featuring aromas of jasmine, rose petal, and spice, the winery’s 2020 Gewurztraminer certainly deserves a taste on your stay. It has juicy fruit notes, giving it a bright and focused acidity for a long finish.

Roederer Estate: World-Class Sparkling Wines

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  • Address: 4501 CA-128, Philo, CA 95466, United States
  • Website: https://roedererestate.com/
  • Contact Number: (+1) 707-895-2288 (ext. 3222)

Roederer Estate produces some of the best sparkling wines in Anderson Valley, with their Brut sparkling wine being perhaps their most famous. They also produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as an assortment of other wines.

The winery has a rustic exterior, giving it a relaxed and natural ambiance. Inside, the winery is equally as enchanting, boasting a comfortable and rural tasting room that oozes charm.

Roederer Estate offers several wine tasting experiences by reservation. They also offer private tastings for large groups or for those looking for a more private experience.

If you’re feeling hungry, the winery’s in-house chef will be happy to serve you a range of tasty food items from their Nosh menu, including luxurious Tsar Nicoulai caviar, duck rillettes, smoked salmon, and Marcona almonds.

The winery offers tours of their estate, priced at $25 per person for up to 10 guests. You’ll be guided around the grounds to learn more about the history of the winery and their unique sparkling wine methods. The tour concludes with a sparkling wine tasting, as all that walking is thirsty work!

Editor’s Note: This winery is famous for their Brut sparkling wine, so it seems only right to sample their 2013 L’Ermitage Brut. It has tempting aromas of hazelnut, brioche, and flint, as well as bright acidity and layered texture.

Navarro Vineyards and Winery: Delicious Deli Foods

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Next up is Navarro Vineyards and Winery, a small family-run estate that has been producing wine and non-alcoholic grape juices since 1974. They are situated in Philo in the heart of Anderson Valley and craft a wide selection of wines, including Pinot Grigio and Edelzwicker.

The winery boasts an intimate but delightful tasting room, which is open daily for you to browse their range of delicious wine. The winery also offers tours of their vineyards and estate throughout the year, so be sure to check whether they’re running on your visit. Tours last for an hour and are suitable for up to 15 guests.

You’re welcome to bring your picnic to enjoy a spot of lunch at their outdoor picnic tables. Alternatively, you can pick up an assortment of local cheeses and meats from their deli case, which pairs perfectly with their wines.

Editor’s Note: The winery’s Pinot Noir has won awards for its excellence, so it’s one to try on your visit. It has flavors of black tea and black cherry.

Handley Cellars: Relaxing Tasting Room

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Another top-notch winery in Anderson Valley is Handley Cellars, boasting scenic views, a well-presented tasting room, and a spacious courtyard. The tasting room is filled with international folk art from all over the world, making it wonderfully relaxing to sit in.

The estate vineyard is home to 13.4 acres of Pinot Noir, 12.2 acres of Chardonnay, and 3.2 acres of Gewurztraminer. Anderson Valley’s cool-climate provides the perfect growing conditions for these grapes, giving them deep and rich flavors.

Tastings are by appointment only, so be sure to book ahead of time to secure a spot.

Editor’s Note: A blend of Martini, Dijon 115, and Dijon 77 clones, the winery’s 2017 Pinot Noir is packed with notes of raspberry cream, freshly turned earth, spice, and herbal hints. It has delectable flavors of blueberries, black cherries, with a touch of cream and caramel. Delicious!

Goldeneye Winery: Various Tasting Experiences

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Boasting a dreamy backdrop of redwood forests, rolling hills, and vineyards, Goldeneye Winery offers an exquisite experience for wine drinkers. They offer a wide range of tasting experiences, including Estate Wine and Cheese Pairings, Essential Tastings, and even a Fly with Goldeneye Tasting Experience!

The latter includes a majestic tour over Anderson Valley in a private helicopter, alongside a carefully curated wine tasting of a selection of their wines and al alfresco wine country lunch. It’s the perfect gift for wine enthusiasts or if you’re looking to spend a romantic day with a special someone.

If you’re looking for something a little simpler and traditional, why not try their Essential Tastings? This seated tasting experience costs $20 per person and includes their current release wines and selections from their Migration label. You can enjoy your wine tasting session either inside their grand tasting room or spacious outside areas.

The vineyard patio and terrace are available to rent out for private events like birthday parties and private dinners during the warmer months. The beautiful setting is sure to make your event an unforgettable one!

Editor’s Note: Made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the Goldeneye Brut Rose is packed with blood orange, honeydew, and hazelnut flavors for a rich and vibrant experience.

Scharffenberger Cellars: Friendly Atmosphere

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Scharffenberger Cellars was first founded in 1981, so it’s one of the oldest wineries in Anderson Valley. Each and every wine at the estate is individually fermented using the méthode traditionnelle, which adds a deep complexity to their beverages and maintains excellent quality.

The winery’s beautiful tasting room is located in the quaint town of Philo in Anderson Valley, featuring a warm and friendly atmosphere. They regularly feature local artists so you can enjoy mouthwatering sparkling wine and fascinating artwork.

Alternatively, you can take your wine outside and picnic on the porch or in the carefully tended gardens, while soaking up some glorious California sunshine.

Scharffenberger Cellars currently offers 2 tasting options: a classic sparkling tasting experience and a mixed tasting experience of their sparkling wines and still wines from Carpe Diem. Either is a great choice depending on your wine preferences!

Editor’s Choice: As its name suggests, the winery’s Brut Excellence is a remarkable wine. It was awarded 91 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in December 2020 and features notes of biscuit, peach, and toasted bread.

Smith Story Wine Cellars: Stylish Tasting Room

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Last but not least is Smith Story Wine Cellars, a relatively new winery that has only been around since 2013. Despite being a newcomer, Smith Story Wine Cellars is quickly becoming a popular winery in Anderson Valley due to their high-quality wines.

The small but stylish tasting room is open Thursday to Saturday for tastings. Tastings cost $25 per person and are hosted by none other than the winery’s founders, Eric and Ali Story.

You’ll experience some of the finest wines in Anderson Valley while discovering more about the history and winemaking process of Smith Story Wine Cellars. You can either enjoy your wine inside or outside on the pleasant patio.

Editor’s Note: One of the winery’s bestsellers is their 2018 Pinot Noir, a bright and floral beverage that will have you dreaming of springtime. It’s packed with velvety cherry notes with a hint of spice.

Final Thoughts

Anderson Valley is one of California’s best-kept secrets, offering an assortment of high-quality wineries that produce some of the best Pinot Noir and sparkling wine you’ll ever taste.

Whether you’re thinking of heading up to Anderson Valley for a day or a week, the wineries above are the perfect way to spend time with friends or family and relax over a sumptuous glass of wine.

Alternatively, if you’d rather enjoy your wine at home, why not sign up for a wine club like Naked Wines or Winc Wines? We’ve reviewed a wide range of wine clubs so you can find the best one that suits your needs and preferences.

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