Phillips Hill Winery 5101 Hwy. 128, in Philo, (707) 895-2209. Tasting daily 10:30-5. Tasting $5.
Situated in a rustic old building that was once used for drying apples, this open-air tasting room under which a stream cheerily meanders is delightful in warm weather. I enjoyed tasting a creamy, smooth, un-oaky 2013 Ridley Vineyard Chardonnay; an aromatic, dry 2013 Gewurztraminer from the adjacent Valley Foothills Vineyard; and a soft 2012 Valenti Vineyard Pinot Noir. Attractive label art, designed by owner Toby Hill, makes this luscious wine even more special. Plan ahead and bring a lunch to enjoy in a picnic area under a gigantic weeping willow. Optionally, a plate of French cheeses and charcuterie is usually available for purchase in summer, and if you are here at the right time you can pick a pear or apple for dessert right off one of the trees. In winter, tasting moves indoors and upstairs.
Be sure to visit the Aroma Shed to sniff wine descriptors and the former fruit stand to purchase wine jams imported from France. The actual wine-making facility is located on Mendocino Ridge.
|vintage apple dryer|
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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers