If you’re ready to plan your next trip to Mendocino County, we highly recommend you swing by Taste Mendocino in San Francisco on April 27. Between 1 pm and 4 pm, at Fort Mason Center (in Gallery 308), you can meet representatives from this County full of striking natural beauty, friendly small towns, and excellent wineries just 90 miles north of The City. Winemakers, brewmasters, farmers, chefs, innkeepers and other local artisans will share samples of their products and provide information about this area’s diverse offerings.
Over 30 Mendocino County wineries will be pouring their best wines for attendees, paired with small bites from the region’s top chefs. Participating wineries will include Alder Springs Vineyard, Barra, Brutocao, Campovida, Fathers + Daughters Cellars, Goldeneye Winery, Handley Cellars, Husch Vineyards, Long Meadow Ranch, Maple Creek Winery, Navarro Vineyards, Parducci Wine Cellars, Seebass Vineyards, Theopolis Vineyards and Waits-Mast Family Cellars.
Taste Mendocino will also serve as a gourmet marketplace where you can purchase items. Of the purveyors that will be there on the 27th, here are some we already love:
- Black Oak Coffee Roasters – This premium coffee roaster in Ukiah roasts their own beans onsite, and won Overall Champion Roaster at the 2017 Golden Bean North America Roaster Competition. We stop by every time we’re in the area. Our favorite beans include Lintong (Sumatra), Riakiberu (Kenya), Heartwood (Medium Roast), Black Bart (Dark Roast) and Canopy (Decaf).
- Gowan Family Orchards – The Gowan family has been growing apples on their land for over 140 years, and now they are also proud producers of Real California Cider ® (made from 100% apples grown in California). Our favorite ciders are their Macintosh Heirloom, Gravenstein Heirloom, and Heirloom Cuvée 1876. FYI, the Gravenstein Cider just won Best of Class at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
- Kemmy’s Pies – This baker of fresh, handmade pies always delivers their products freshly baked (never frozen) to local markets and specialty stores in Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake and Sonoma Counties. We’ve been big fans of her Apple Crumb Pie, Blackberry Crumb Pie and CranApple Blueberry Walnut Crumb. Kemmy’s current “Kreation of the Month” is a Cherry Port pie.
- Lovers Lane Farm – We love the gourmet honey from this small family-run homestead in Ukiah. There are no chemicals or pesticides used in the honey production: it is pure, unfiltered and unprocessed. Depending on the season, you may also find bee pollen, comb honey, chunk honey, infused honeys and more available.
- Pennyroyal Farm – This is a family-owned, sustainable dairy, creamery and vineyard in Boonville, California and we are fans of both their wines and cheeses. Our favorite product here is the Laychee, a fresh cheese that undergoes two days of acidification but no ripening.
- Schat’s Bakery & Café – In 1991 Brian and Zachary Schat had a goal of starting a neighborhood bakery and since then Schat’s has evolved into three Ukiah locations. We usually focus on their wonderful sandwiches, but Schat’s offers a full spectrum of breads and pastries and cookies as well. Their bread menu includes French, Sourdough, Sourdough Wheat, Multi-Grain Wheat, Sheepherders, Dutch Crunch, Rye, and Honey Molasses.
- Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese – This family-owned farmstead cheese producer has been a creamery since 1983. The farm is located north of Willits, and the goat herd here consists of Alpines, La Manchas and Nubians Dairy. We are big fans of their soft chevre.
Mendocino County – Lodging Assistance
Another reason you should attend Taste Mendocino is that you can meet representatives from several Inns in the County to help you make a future lodging decision. Harbor House Inn (Elk) is on the edge of the Pacific Coast and its Executive Chef, Matthew Kammerer, was recently named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2019. Heritage House Resort and Spa (Little River) offers 37 acres of lush greenery, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and spa treatments which can even take place in the privacy of your room. The Madrones (Philo) is located in the heart of Anderson Valley, with three winery tasting rooms on the actual premises. Little River Inn (Elk) has been welcoming guests since 1939 and has the only golf course on the Mendocino Coast. Noyo Harbor Inn (Fort Bragg) offers a unique coastal location for special gatherings and events, including weddings.
So, if you’re ready to buy tickets, please go here and order them. Advance-price admission is $60 per person, for 3 hours of wine tasting, food sampling, and planning your next long weekend. That pretty much counts as multi-tasking.
Mendocino County – Future Events
And, if you’re trying to figure out when to make your next trip to Mendocino County, here are some upcoming events that show the range of activities available to visitors (as well as locals). There are wine tasting events, musical events, art events, cycling events, and a film festival you should really consider. You can also probably learn even more about these events from Taste Mendocino representatives.
Hopland Passport (May 4-5) – One ticket enables you to explore a dozen wineries in the Hopland wine region for two days. Saturday night, you can also enjoy a BBQ Concert and Dance Party featuring Derek Irving and His Combo. Participants include McNab Ridge Winery, Nelson Family Vineyards and Seebass Vineyards.
Architectural Tour, Wine Tasting and Auction (May 11) – The Soroptimists International of Mendocino-Sonoma Coast, Inc. (SI-MSC) organization offers a self-guided architectural tour featuring new, newly remodeled, and historically significant homes in the Sea Ranch and Anchor Bay communities. Following the tour, the Gualala Arts Wine Tasting and Auction includes award-winning wines and over 100 wine-related lots in a Silent Auction.
Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival (May 17-19) – Come sample and savor Anderson Valley Pinot Noir wines (plus Rosés and Sparkling Wines) from more than 40 producers, along with mouth-watering food pairings and live entertainment. Also, over 20 wineries in the area open their doors for festive Open Houses. Participants include Baxter Wines, Drew Family Wines, Foursight Wines, Phillips Hill and Roederer Estate.
Mendocino Film Festival (May 31–June 2) – The 14th annual Film Festival includes 4 Oscar-nominated films, 9 films fresh from Sundance, 2 films from SXSW, and an array of independent and international films. Selections include Amazing Grace, the Biggest little Farm, Coco, Pick of the Litter, and Holly Near: Singing For Our Lives.
Mendocino Monster (June 9) – Experience a challenging bike ride with beautiful views of vineyards, grasslands, redwoods and the Pacific Ocean. There are three rides to choose from, starting with a 39-mile “Merry Monster” with only about 800 feet of climbing. Or, you can tackle the more difficult “Hairy Monster” or go for it with the “Scary Monster” route that is 96.9 miles long and includes over 10,000 feet of climbing.
Taste of Redwood Valley (June 15-16) – This free event offers a chance to enjoy wine and/or whiskey on Father’s Day Weekend. Bring your own glass as local wineries, distillers and food purveyors collaborate to create an interesting adventure. Participants include Craft Distillers, Graziano Family of Wines and Testa Vineyards.
Kate Wolf Music Festival (June 27-30) – Enjoy a great weekend with friends, family and lovers of fabulous music at Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville. The 2019 lineup includes Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos, Jim Messina, Ruthie Foster, Amy Helm and Eliza Gilkyson.
Mendocino Music Festival (July 13-27) – This 32nd annual music festival features over 30 concerts and events (and some open rehearsals) in “a celebration of music to which the world is invited.” Come listen to Big Band, Chamber, Folk, Opera, Jazz, Orchestral, Celtic, Cajun, Bluegrass and more. 2019 Performers include Calder Quartet, Kim Nalley, The Odd Dogs, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band and Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Art in the Gardens (August 3) – It’s the 27th annual occurrence of this day-long juried art event held at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, with Naomi Marino as the 2019 featured artist. Stroll across 47 acres of natural beauty, mingle with the artists, and enjoy local wines and craft beers.
Paul Bunyan Days (August 31 – September 3) – A Fort Bragg tradition since 1939, this 4-day festival is packed with 30 different free, or almost-free, events offering a “lumberjack rowdy good time.” The fun includes a log rolling contest, a fireman’s water fight, a parade, a pie sale and a car show.
Winesong (September 6-7) – Enjoy the 35th anniversary of the premier charity auction & wine tasting event on the Mendocino Coast, with proceeds going to enhance the facilities and services at Mendocino Coast District Hospital. Stroll through the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens while enjoying world-class wineries from Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, and beyond, and food from some of the region’s finest food purveyors.
Mendocino County includes winding roads, boutique wineries, hikes that truly make you feel you’ve gotten away from it all, coastal escapes, and farms and vineyards. If you’re going to be near San Francisco on April 27 we highly suggest you consider attending Taste Mendocino. It’s an excellent opportunity to journey through the region’s diverse showcase of fine wines, specialty small-batch spirits, ciders, artisanal foods, charming inns and unique experiences.