Prelude to the annual burst of color that April brings to the grounds at the Inn
Prelude to the annual burst of color that April brings to the grounds at the Inn
Image captured by one of our guests' watchful eye
One of our favorite day trips for our guests staying at the Inn at The Madrones. Montgomery Woods has some of the tallest trees in the world. Just on hour drive away from Anderson Valley, you can expect a peaceful, even magical walk in the redwoods. So beautiful and unknown to most travelers.
Outside of wine tasting and relaxing, lazy days spent in Anderson Valley, we have a spectacular coastline just 30 minutes away from The Madrones. Mark your calendar for the annual March Whale Festival, in Mendocino March 4th - 5th, 2017
There will be wine and chowder tasting, whale watching walks, sea cave kayak tours, craft fair, beer tasting, art exhibits and plenty more visit www.mendowhale.com for more details and to purchases tickets.
We tell our guests what makes our Inn's location at The Madrones in Philo so unique is that you can stay in the vineyard in Anderson Valley, walk amongst our ancient towering redwoods, then take a short 30 minute drive to Mendocino to see one of the most stunning coastlines in the West!
"Italian-style villa" is what your first impression might be driving into the stone and tiled outer courtyard of The Madrones, a luxury property in the Anderson Valley area of California. If you are staying the night you are in for a treat.
Owner builder/ designer Jim Roberts has put his heart and considerable talent into creating a real-time retreat, ready when you are. The proprietor wants you to have a unique experience and to start it off they do not consider this place a hotel, B & B or an inn, but "guest quarters" prompting the image of an extension of a gracious private home.
Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, the Anderson Valley used to be a brief stop on the way to Mendocino to stretch your legs, taste some wine, and get back in the car and head for the coast. But in recent years the Anderson Valley has become a full-fledged destination in its own right, with hip B&Bs, compelling restaurants, and cutting-edge wineries. It’s still a tranquil, lovely place where time slows down, but there’s more now to do in that time, and reasons galore to stop and explore. While Boonville is still the hub, Philo, population 400, is where all the exciting changes are taking place.
Earlier this year, after the abrupt end of a short and tortured marriage, I fled to San Francisco, where the surrounding landscape has always moved me, to recover. When (or whether) I’d return to New York, I wasn’t sure; all I knew (and all I still know) was that two reliable mood-lifters—redwoods and red wine—were now at my fingertips.
ASK LOCALS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S Anderson Valley what sets their sliver of a wine region apart from the more expansive and more popular haunts in the surrounding area, and they’ll tell you that it’s what Napa and Sonoma were 20 or 30 years ago. This 15-mile stretch of Mendocino County between Boonville and Navarro is quiet and unassuming—a place where children abound and many tasting-room employees bring their dogs to work.
Anderson Valley is an elixir for the soul. In this maritime-influenced land of cool-climate Alsatian whites and pinot noir, weathered fence posts struggle to prop up dew-laden heritage roses, ancient water towers stand sentinel over vine rows stitched into steep hillsides, and barn roofs glow green with decades of moss. Time hangs like fog.
Yet there’s a sunny garden and a shiny new collection of tasting rooms awaiting you at The Madrones in Philo. Bink, Drew, Knez and Signal Ridge all pour Thursday through Sunday here — Signal Ridge and Bink are open daily — alongside a quaint garden shop called Sun & Cricket, crammed with eclectic books, antiques, garden tools, gourmet foods and a cheese counter. A new restaurant, Stone and Embers, offers lunch and dinner Friday through Tuesday. Stay put for a night in their cozy accommodations, and you’ll never want to leave.
Call it a night at this charming nine-room boutique inn. Ask for a room in the recently refinished guesthouse, which is decked out in modern furnishings with quirky touches (like a large framed painting of an exotic bird).
Until The Madrones opened, the quirky and still great Boonville Hotel was the only decent lodging in the valley. Cloistered buildings and courtyards house four tasting rooms featuring some of the best small-batch wines around, as well as a new owners’ cottage turned guest quarters. There’s no daily housekeeping, but if that’s what you’re looking for, fancy-pants, Napa’s an hour east.
Tourists come from all over the world to experience the rugged North Coast during the fall, but during the winter time, it’s pretty quiet. If you live here and yearn to get away in your own beautiful back yard, you can find lots of midweek discounts and special treats.
Here are a few resorts and inns that not only offer special deals and packages but have recently expanded with new rooms, restaurants and other amenities:
Up in Philo in the deep end of Anderson Valley, The Madrones estate has opened five new guest quarters, bringing the total accommodations to nine.
The Tuscan-style spread, which also houses four wine-tasting rooms, features an on-site restaurant, Stone & Embers, serving casual but refined cuisine from a wood-burning oven.
Mendocino County has 107 wineries and more than 17,000 acres of vineyards, but it draws visitors for other pleasures like giant redwoods, Dungeness crab, wild chanterelle mushrooms, an exhilarating rocky coast and, yes, marijuana cultivation. Mendocino is laid-back, to say the least. A two-plus hour drive north of San Francisco through Sonoma County, traffic is practically nonexistent except for logging trucks. Tasting rooms and restaurants are rarely crowded, but lodging options are scarce except on the coast near the New England-esque town of Mendocino. Ukiah, in the warmer, drier inland valley along Highway 101, is the biggest city, with a whopping population of 16,000. Since 95 percent of the land in Mendocino County is rolling or mountainous, it offers plenty of bends in the road to explore.
Where to Stay
Anderson Valley’s most pampering hotel is The Madrones near Philo, which has the feel of an Italian villa and underwent a recent expansion by owner-designer Jim Roberts.
Anderson Valley is the way Napa used to be. The region, squeezed in on the west side by Hendy Woods State Park and redwoods, with the Navarro River trickling nearby, is about 100 miles north of San Francisco. It has about 30 wineries. And its towns of Yorkville, Boonville, Philo and Navarro are so unpopulated that you wouldn’t even know you were in one if the speed limit didn’t drop from 55 to 30 mph. Boonville, the main town, is about four blocks long.
The valley’s beauty is what first attracted Jim Roberts to the area 25 years ago. He owns The Madrones — which sits on land that was once a rural homestead and repair shop — doubling its size in August to include an inn, gardens, four tasting rooms and a restaurant. Bink, Drew, Knez and Signal Ridge wineries have opened in the Madrones compound within the past four years, and last year, an alumnus of San Francisco’s esteemed restaurant Gary Danko opened Stone & Embers. There’s also a dovecote, complete with exotic doves.
Knez (knezwinery.com) is a fairly new winery, producing Chardonnay and Pinot from some of the valley’s top vineyards: Demuth and Cerise. Its tasting room, as well as Drew’s (drewwines.com), is in the small complex known as The Madrones. Both wineries offer first-rate wines with finesse and poise.
Today Cahn confesses “shock” at seeing 30 wineries in her once remote and quiet valley. Of course, it’s still quiet and remote—but the young energy is promising. Notes Jim Roberts, proprietor of Anderson Valley’s boutique inn, The Madrones, “There is a whole new group of young people here who are really into food and wine. It’s a gift to have that new energy in Mendocino.”
Spring is on the horizon, so why not celebrate with a trip? We’ve found some great deals for destination weddings, honeymoons or weekend getaways. Read on for a little inspiration.
Split your stay between Brewery Gulch and The Madrones hotel with the “Land & Sea” package. This includes two nights at The Madrones, two nights at the Brewery Gulch Inn, two dinners, a winery tour, an outrigger canoeing or whale watching exursion and more for $1,425 per couple.
Where will this winter take you? Whether to warm climes or cold, here are some fun in the sun and fun in the snow deals that might feel just right.
California Dreamin’ in Mendocino County
With an internationally acclaimed wine country, towering redwoods and picturesque seaside villages, Mendocino County is a superb getaway with all the right inclusions. Meandering roads wind through deep valleys, rolling vineyards and awe-inspiring forests. This big, undeveloped county offers solitude and tranquility with a base in world class luxury. Two properties: The Madrones and the Brewery Gulch Inn — have teamed up to offer visitors a “Land & Sea” package that highlights the best of both worlds.
The Land & Sea package includes two nights at The Madrones in the Anderson Valley and two nights at Brewery Gulch Inn along the rugged Mendocino coast (five days and four nights total), and is priced at $1,425 (not inclusive of taxes).
The big story for the Rhone-minded this year is a great spike in the quality of California Syrah. Not all of it by any means, but whether due to the chill of 2011 or a partial weeding-out of the less than obsessive, now is a time to take heart about the state of this wonderful but often under-loved grape.
Grenache continues to show its virtues, as does Mourvedre. In all, it adds up to a terrific time to be enjoying these varieties – and to discover both old terroirs like Napa’s Phoenix Ranch and new ones like Mark Adams’ patch of Paso Robles.
2011 Drew Family Valenti Vineyard Mendocino Ridge Syrah ($45, 12.8%): Jason and Molly Drew are less well known for Syrah, but this parcel at the western border of Anderson Valley shows the grape’s beauty on an obscure coastal edge. Tons of spice here – a mix of green and black peppercorns, and a mint-leaf freshness that builds on plum and wild blueberry fruit. Its savory side is astonishing in its depth, less meaty than minerally, with perfect focus in its flavors.