For the past couple of years my mom attended the Wine, Beer & Crab Festival in Mendocino with some friends. She always raved about the delicious food and wines so, this year, Jason and I sort of invited ourselves along. Take that, Mom! (Jason got me the trip as a birthday present – what a great guy!)
My mom’s friends Mark and Patti graciously invited us to stay at their beautiful home on the coast, emailed directions, helped us procure tickets to crab fest and sent a list of wineries to check out on the drive north from the Oakland airport.
Our first stop was one of their favorites – Navarro Vineyards. Growing grapes and bottling wine since 1973, Navarro is committed to sustainable farming and wine-making They avoid the use of insecticides and herbicides and they use a small flock of lambs to eat the cover crop between the vineyard rows – cute and environmentally friendly!
Jason and I paid them a visit for a tasting. My favorites were the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (I’ve never met a Sav Blanc I didn’t like), the 2010 Pinot Noir, and the 2010 Shiraz.
Navarro also makes some fantastic goat cheeses from the milk from their goats on the farm. We ended up taking home a bottle of the 2010 Shiraz and a block of the goat cheese that was aged 4-5 months. The tasting itself was free so I felt like we made out like a bandit.
Here’s a photo of their vineyard:
We made one more stop on the way to Mendocino at the Roederer Estate. Patti said that they specialize in sparkling wines and I’m a totally sucker for the bubbly. I was sure they would sweep the wine and crab competition because who can vote for a still wine when there is bubbly to be had?
Roederer’s tasting was $6 per person and there were about eight wines they were allowing people to sample. We got to taste about four sparkling wines, a Chardonnay, and two Pinot Noirs. We ended up bringing home a bottle of the Brut Rose we enjoyed while we were making dinner last night. It was delicious!