The bucolic vineyards, sheep ranches and apple orchards of Anderson Valley often race by in a blur as drivers navigate Highway 128 on their way to the Mendocino coast.

But as more wineries plant grapes in the valley’s cool climate and new restaurants open their doors, the rural valley is gaining a reputation as a destination.

“We’re getting a lot of day-trippers from Sonoma (County),” said Jim Roberts, owner of The Madrones in Philo. “I had guests check in today who said, ‘We’ve passed through so many times. … We just wanted to stay this time.’”

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