Tuesday, June 10, 2014
The Road to Mendocino
On our vacation, Mary and I decided to cut the drive from Sunnyvale to Mendocino in half by staying in Windsor, a small town just south of Healdsburg. We used that as a base to make our evening stop at the Bear Republic tap room, and since we planned to make two stops on the drive to the coast, it just made sense. I wrote about one stop – the Anderson Valley Brewery – last week, and my next post will be about the second stop, which was the Roederer Estate vineyard.
The drive from Healdsburg to Mendocino follows 101 for a few miles north, then you exit to California Route 128 and drive west. It is one of my favorite California drives – along with the road from Greenfield across the mountains to Carmel, and of course, Mulholland Drive in LA. We rented a convertible Mustang for the drive once, which was great.
I’d received a text from my friends Kelly and Tom to check out a barn on Chalk Hill Road, near the winery, in Healdsburg and told them we would on our way out of town. Turns out that Tom’s parents had a little spread here for a while, and the barn was designed by Tom to be used as a guest house on the property. It was close enough to the road to get a decent photo, but there’s more info on the Kamm Architecture webpage.
From there we continued our drive, with the requisite stops at AVBC in Philo and then at Roederer. The last ten miles or so of Route 128 winds through a grove of coastal redwoods, another California treat, before you emerge on the coast at the mouth of the Navarro River (spoiler alert – we stopped at Navarro Vineyard on the way back).
We went to check in upon arrival at our first night’s hotel – the final photo shows the view from the doorway to the front desk. We’d last been here in 2000, so we were looking forward to getting reacquainted with the incredible scenery in the town and its surroundings.