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.