Sue’s Anderson Valley (Boonville) post pretty much summed up our time in the valley — it was a pastoral break from the coast. Rolling hills, sheep farms, vineyards and orchards on either side of the valley, set up against the mountains that separate the valley from the coast on the west and from the Ukiah/Willits valley that carries the North/South I-101 highway in the east. The weather was also wonderful – cool and overcast until late morning and then clearing with a strong breeze for the afternoons.
Apart from the drive into Ukiah so that Tau could run wild and climb in a neighborhood park, and his parents could check email, we did a whole lot of nothing in particular. I did get out for a road ride to Breggo Cellars for some wine tasting – extremely well-structured wines, particularly their Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Other wineries worth visiting are Navarro Vineyards (for the whites) and Toulouse Vineyards (for the Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, winery dogs and friendly winemaker Vern).
Crazy thing about the Anderson Valley is the temperature swing from east to west. The east (inland) side of the valley is hot and dry, and can easily reach temperatures of 105 °F (40 °C) in the summer and grow more Cabernet Sauvignon type grapes. The west side of the valley reaches the Pacific ocean where morning fog rolls into the valley, lingering until late morning and sometimes rolling back in the late afternoon. Temperatures are significantly cooler to the west and favor the cool climate grapes of Gewürztraminer and Riesling. So across this 25 mile stretch, summer temperatures can easily swing 40 – 50 degrees making for some extremely diverse grape growing and wine making.