Uncork a perfect weekend in Anderson Valley

To get to Anderson Valley from San Francisco, you drive north for two hours on Highway 101, through Sonoma County, into Mendocino County. When you finally pull into Cloverdale and take a hard left-hand turn onto Highway 128 toward Boonville, it feels as if you’re diving into a rabbit hole.

You corkscrew down several hundred feet of altitude on a ribbon road that snakes through the forests of the Yorkville Highlands, finally washing out into the flats of Anderson Valley.

Surrounded by heavily forested hillsides on both sides, Anderson Valley is a narrow conduit between the warm inland reaches of Mendocino County and the chilly, pristine Mendocino Coast.

Read the full article at sfchronicle.com.

Take a trip back in time through Anderson Valley to Mendocino


The Anderson Valley was apple country decades ago, and vestiges remain in the form of farm stands and scattered orchards. But it’s mostly vineyards now, and wines are the big draw, from robust Pinot Noirs to Alsatian-style wines such as dry Gewurtztraminer, sweet Riesling and bold Pinot Gris. The Phillips Hill tasting room, set in a weathered apple-dryer building in an orchard northwest of Philo, recalls a bit of the old agricultural economy. Rolling hills abound with vines through the narrow valley, and you can experience nature up close with a walk through the Hendy Woods or Navarro River Redwoods state parks. The latter park is a virtual tunnel of redwoods for the last 11-mile stretch to the coast.

Memorable Stay

The Madrones guest quarters in Philo include nine well-appointed rooms set amid a flowering garden and working farm. Three wine-tasting rooms hold court in the property’s main Mediterranean-style building.

Read the full article on LATimes.com.

Sleep Here: The Madrones in Philo, California

In a former life, The Madrones was a small rural homestead enveloped by overgrown gardens.

Today, the property is the rustic-luxe product of Jim Robert's elegant aesthetic.

It's my favourite kind of luxury: bespoke curation without a hint of pretension. Instead of hotel rooms, there are nine total 'guest quarters.' It's a moniker that perfectly communicates the warmth this property exudes.

Pulling into the driveway of The Madrones, I'm greeted by a villa-style facade. I tow my suitcase to The Cottage, which is set back on the leafy property. Fragrant roses and wisteria waft on the early spring breeze. I'm sleeping in the Living Room, which, despite its name, is my bedroom for the evening.

Read the full article at CanadianTraveller.com.

Mendocino County, California

Lodging in Mendocino’s wine country can be found at The Madrones. Just off of Highway 128, the hotel pulls off that perfect Californian rustic luxury. The rooms—guest quarters as well as special suites at the back of the property—are each individually accented with stunning antiques that owner Jim Roberts has collected over the years. The Kitchen suite (in what used to be the owner’s home) is refined and comfortable. The beds are plush and fitted with the softest sheets (which are conveniently sold in the lobby), with French doors that open up to a private balcony. Plan on sleeping in.

Read the full article at MonteCristoMagazine.com.

WineInk: The Madrones


Just off Highway 128 in the Anderson Valley, cheek to jowl with Duckhorn's Goldeneye Winery, lies a Spanish/Tuscan/Santa Fe/California-inspired compound called The Madrones. And yes, when you pass through the walls into the courtyard, it is easy to begin humming the song "Hotel California."

The Madrones consists of nine stylish Guest Quarters, three excellent wine-tasting rooms pouring Anderson Valley wines, an incredible restaurant and a curio/antique shop that would be a find in, say, New York's East Village.

The product of interior designer/builder/visionary Jim Roberts, the complex began life as a rural homestead and television repair shop. Sensing a hidden gem, Roberts rebuilt the compound as a base of operations to house his thriving design firm and a creative incubator for local business in the mid-2000s. He also built a home that lies cocooned inside the lush, exquisite English gardens that surround the property. Today, that home has been repurposed as a tasteful and luxurious guest quarters for travelers seeking a unique abode to host their Anderson Valley stay.

Read the full article at AspenTimes.com.

Savor the New Coastal Charm of Mendocino County

Stay in Mediterranean-inspired style at the Madrones. Guest quarters feature nine spacious rooms (from $175), most with vaulted ceilings, breezy sitting areas, and a European-meets-California-cool feel. Or book one of two refurbished logger’s cabins in a new section of the property called the Brambles, where the design is outdoorsy — framed animal sketches, exposed-wood ceilings. Spend a lazy afternoon in the courtyard with a bottle from one of four on-site tasting rooms; Bink’s refreshing Sauvignon Blanc is an easy sipper on warm days ($22). It’s just a few steps to dinner at Stone & Embers, where the Italian-leaning dishes and a courtyard brimming with terra-cotta planters and colorful flowers evoke a Tuscan ambience. Order some small plates like spaghettini (from $12) with fava beans, lemon, and cured egg, or pizzas like the kicky El Guapo, topped with jalapeño salumi and piquillo peppers ($19), and toast to la dolce vita.

Read the full article at NYMag.com.

The Secret Life of Mendocino

It’s not hard to see why some have described Mendocino County as being “a state of mind.” Replete with rugged natural beauty—deep forests, wave-lashed cliffs—and somewhat isolated, it has an untouched feel. When the fishing and lumber industries nosedived in the late 1940s, the area became a vibrant artists’ haven, with Mendocino village at its epicentre. These days, the artistic fervour is subtler but still present. Drive into town, past the Center for Spiritual Living and streets of Victorian homes to the stalwart Mendocino Art Center, where that community still thrives. (Fans of the TV show Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury may recognize Mendocino’s shores; it was a popular filming location in the ’80s and ’90s.)

Winding your way back to San Francisco, Anderson Valley is not to be missed. Mendocino County wine country feels like a well-kept secret; it’s the Napa Valley of 30 years ago. In the heart of it all, check in for a night at the Madrones, tucked away in a place called Philo. Along with a garden full of citrus trees and Italian-style accommodations, the Madrones is home to four tasting rooms. Seek out bottles from Signal Ridge Vineyard, best known for its bubbles and high-altitude wines.

The Madrones is also a 10-minute drive from the Bewildered Pig, which was a French restaurant before chef/owner Janelle Weaver turned it into a rustic-refined gem with plates built around foraged fare. The “purveyor of gastronomic pleasantries,” as she puts it, serves dishes like rabbit pot pie, radishes with caraway butter, and an explosive “celebration of carrots” that includes them cooked, pickled, raw, and topped with chive leather (like fruit leather, but using herbs). The cozy 38-seat room fills quickly and by night’s end is boisterous with local winemakers.

Read the full article at NuvoMagazine.com.

Four Road Trips to Unexpected Places

Distance from S.F.: 121 miles.

One good way to know you're in a tiny town is if the elevation exceeds the population. Philo — elev. 331 — somehow manages to retain the feel of a hamlet even though it's home to 349 souls, however. This beautiful bend in the road in inland Mendocino County, three hours north of San Francisco on Highway 128, can be a rainy place in the winter. But it comes alive in the summer, especially at the Madrones, a complex of tasting rooms and guest quarters that's neither a hotel nor a B&B but rather a working winery with sleeping accommodations (as well as Stone and Embers, Chef Patrick Meany's intimate restaurant). It's a great place to do absolutely nothing, but summer events like the Barrel-Tasting Festival and the Not So Simple Living Fair draw plenty of city dwellers to the area. Plus, can you ever really get tired of smelling redwoods?

Bonus add-on: Boonville, a slightly larger hamlet a bit further south on 128, is home to the Anderson Valley Brewing Company and its famous sour beers (plus a disc-golf course).

Read the full article at SFWeekly.com.

The Ultimate Summer Road Trips From San Francisco

SF to Eureka to Mendocino

Distance from SF to Eureka: 270 miles; 5-hour drive
Distance from Eureka to Mendocino: 145 miles; 3-hour drive
This one is a real road trip, but if you have four days to a week, it's a great way to experience the best Northern California has to offer, from big trees to breweries and everything in between.
Must-Do: 1. Drive through the Chandelier Tree in Leggett. 2. Explore the Victorian seaport of Eureka via horse-drawn carriage. 3. Drink your way (responsibly) through all of Mendocino.
Stay: Camp in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, stay in a Victorian Inn in Eureka, and splurge on a night at The Madrones in Mendocino.
Eat: Pull over at The Peg House in Leggett, where you can get tasty burgers and maybe even catch some live music.

Read the full article at Thrillist.com.


"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.

Read the full article at afar.com.

5 Reasons to Visit the Anderson Valley Now

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.

Read the full article at forbes.com.

Uncorking the Perfect Long Weekend in California’s Anderson Valley

The wineries, restaurants and unspoiled landscapes of the pocket-size valley are a sip away from San Francisco

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.

Read the full article at wsj.com.


Winery Adventure: The Madrones, Philo

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.

Read the full article at MercuryNews.com.

Once Upon a Time

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.

Read the full article on our facebook post.


Winter escapes for the North Coast thrifty

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.

Read the full article at pressdemocrat.com.

10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2015

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.

Read the full article at WineMag.com.