Going Bendo in Mendo

Pictured here is the view from the “Tasting Deck” at Esterlina Vineyards, a tiny, mountaintop, boutique property making world-class wines. Green rolling hills, mammoth redwoods, untamed rivers, the wild Northern California coast-plus all of the great wine- makes for a vacation paradise for an outward-bound wino. I was lucky enough to get styled with a sweet guesthouse stay at the Parducci Winery (love their wines!) in Ukiah last month, and I strongly recommend that you get up there some time if you have the chance. Pinot Noir fan? I tasted EASILY 20 pinots one day rolling out towards the coast on Hwy. 128 in Anderson Valley. Gewurztraminer lover? You could bathe in the sweet/spicy juice out here, local wineries produce so much. The highpoint/best wine? You’ll never taste it. Goldeneye’s (Duckhorn’s AV property) Gowan Vineyard’s Pinot Noir. Sold out at the winery. It had that rustic, brambly,almost piney essence that so many of the great one’s from here exhibit. I pointed out to winemaker Zach Rasmuson the “herbal” quality of the wine, and I was reminded of the scent of Mendo’s second most profitable crop. It all made sense. For a steal deal, seek out Parducci’s Pinot Noir, or go big with Goldeneye’s AV Pinot. 

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