Every year Mr. Spice and I have taken a trip up to wine country around the holidays, usually to pick up wine for Thanksgiving. But this year we missed our annual trip, so I decided that we should go up around Christmas time instead.
While venue hunting for the wedding, we had checked out the adorable Booneville Hotel, which is in the Anderson Valley- the none coastal part of Mendocino. Unfortunately, it was a bit too small (ten rooms) and too remote (2 hours from SF) to have the wedding up there. But it was perfect for an overnight romantic get away.
I have to be honest, I've put off this post because I really wanted a vacation and I didn't take that many pictures of our brief (and romantic) adventure. But I did take a lot of scenery pics, so that's what you're going to get, and yes, I totally over processed them when I got home. I was having fun figuring it all out. C'est la vie.
On our way up to Anderson Valley, we made a quick stop at one of our all time favorite pizza places: Diavolo. Yum. Here's Mr. Spice waiting for our first glass of wine (it was noon, somewhere) and some pizza.
A new tasting room just opened up next door, Mercury. Mr. Spice loved their wines (I didn't have any since they only had red- damn migraines), and the Owner/Winemaker was having so much fun with his new adventure they gave us a free jar of home made 'merlot' jam.
When we first arrived, it was rainy and gray. Perfect for romance, bad for picture taking. But I did get Mr. Spice to stand in the rain outside one of our favorites, Navarro. The reason we love Anderson Valley so much is they do great red and white wines. Mr. Spice loves the Pinots, and I adore the Dry Rieslings, Gewurztraminers and a few Sauvignon Blancs.
We also stopped at an old favorite. Lazy Creek Vineyards. While this was just recently sold, their wine was better than ever.
Our last stop of the day was Roehderer Estate. The sun started to peak out and the sparking wine was fantastic. Even Mr. Spice thought so, and as a former Sparkling Winemaker, he has VERY high standards. This is their beyond gorgeous view from their tasting room:
This is where I am a big blog fail. No pictures of our room or dinner. But here's the 'Hotel' itself:
Since we had a little Huckleberry with us, we couldn't stay in the main house. Instead we were in the cute studio out back. And if you are thinking rain, out back, December- it must have been cold- you're wrong. With the radiant heat floors and the little fireplace, it was perfectly cozy (cozy in the good sense not in the 'too small' real estate sense).
And the dinner, gawd, the dinner. We found out that the owner's parents originally started the French Laundry, yes, THE French Laundry. And while, they didn't make it as successful as Mr. Thomas Keller, they taught their son well. The Hotel has a huge vegetable garden out back and the restaurant only serves two-items every night. Both based on what was grown in their garden. I had me some sweet pea and scallop yumminess, while Mr. Spice has some polenta and flank steak.
The dessert was coffee, tea, and a divine affagado to share.
The next morning we had fresh scones with jam from the nearby Apple Farm (which is coincidentally owned by the hotel owner's sister).
Quite possibly, the best jam ever.
Of course we had to go check it out. Isn't it beyond cute?
Finally, the sun started to come out, and Huck was eager to be a vineyard dog:
Our first stop of the day was Husch. They are always so nice, and I loved walking around their property:
We also stopped at Toulouse Vineyards (two thumbs up), which was super dog friendly and beautiful:
And since Mr. Spice's old boss just bought Breggo - we stopped their too (half a thumb)- again Huck got in on the wine tasting action:
I think Huck is wondering why his Mom is such a drunk in this picture??
But really, I wasn't drunk, I was just really ready for lunch.
When you go visit a town that has only one place open for lunch, there is bound to be a line. But this place is totally worth it:
Everything was organic. Seriously, what in this town wasn't?? Mr. Spice's ham with roasted sweet potato fries.
My salad. YUM.
And after a quick stop at Anderson Brewing Company, our car was officially full. And Huck was ready to end our wine country adventure.
In the end, it was the perfect quick romantic getaway, and the wines were amazing!! In fact, I think I may have to go home and open a bottle right now??
Where have you gone for a perfect romantic getaway?