If you’re driving on Highway 128 through the Anderson Valley on your way to or from Mendocino this weekend, plan on taking some time to stop at some of the many tasting rooms to enjoy the fall foliage in the vineyards. Bob Nye, Operations Manager at Goldeneye Winery, called me the other day to remind me about coming down to see the fall colors on the grapevines, so I made it down on Wednesday. Although the weather guys had predicted showers that day, it turned into a warm day with clouds racing through — perfect for walking through the vineyard. I’ve always admired the colors on the vine-covered hills, but this is the first time I’ve had the chance to walk through the middle of it.
As you can see, the colors ranged from green to yellow to orange to deep red from one plant to the next, making for swaths of color below the hill. You can still find the occasional bunch of grapes that was missed in the picking. These were pinot noir grapes, and while the resulting pinot is excellent, they weren’t particularly tasty in the raw. I love the deep almost-indigo blue in contrast to the wild yellows and reds around the grapes.
The Goldeneye tasting room is a charming building nestled between several restored apple-drying sheds. They host group events on the patio outside, with its barbecue grill and Dutch oven and fabulous view. Out in the middle of the vineyard on a manicured path, they’ve placed a pavilion with picnic tables. What a spectacular place to enjoy a picnic or some cheese with a fine wine!