Mendocino County is growing a name for itself in the wine industry and responsible for some of that growth is a few fabulous women winemakers. These gals are committed to making great wine, and their hands on approach has them tending to grapes in the vineyards and folks in their tasting rooms and wineries.
Deb Schatzlein, Bink Wines
Bink Wines philosophy says it all: “Wine is to be enjoyed – sitting around with friends and family, relaxing, and making the most of every day.” Winemaker Deb Schatzlein talent might have something to do with genetics; her grandparents made gin in their bathtub during Prohibition. Originally an engineer, she quit her day job to make wine, working her way from the ground up, mentoring in Napa Valley before planting roots in Mendocino County. Taste a sampling of reds, whites and their popular rosé in the Bink tasting room in Anderson Valley, right off Highway 128 in The Madrones.
With each twist and turn in Mendocino County, you never know what you might find or what you might see. Follow Highway 128 West to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. As you pass through tiny towns like Yorkville, population of 317, the only traffic you’re likely to see are clusters of deer.
Pull into Philo
Mendocino Wine Country starts to shine when you arrive in Philo. Goldeneye is hard to pass by, with Balo Vineyards just across the street. Pull into The Madrones and you can walk and sip your way through four tasting rooms. For something tasty and unexpected, try the Bubbles at Signal Ridge. There’s also a garden store and restaurant. If you’re thinking of spending the night, The Madrones is the place to lay your head. The guestrooms are spacious and look like they’re straight from a Pottery Barn photo shoot. If you stay, be sure to check out the property’s secret garden.
“Blink and you might miss it.” I think those words may have just been coined for The Madrones, located in Mendocino County between Boonville and Philo. Just on my last trip to Mendocino County, I had driven right by it several times and didn’t even notice. Yet I think that’s part of the ambiance that makes The Madrones what it is: Part tasting room, part boutique shop, part gardens, and part accommodations.