This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines

Jody Rosen meets the free spirits giving shape to this flourishing wine region with a soon-to-be-legendary culinary scene, California’s Mendocino County.

My first glimpse of Anderson Valley came on a vibrant morning, when the sun streamed through cracks in a ceiling of magnificent gray-white clouds. The night before, I’d completed my own trek to the valley from San Francisco. The last leg of the journey was hair-raising: a 30-mile-long drive along fearsomely twisty Route 128, which slaloms north and west across a forested mountain pass before dropping into the valley at Boonville. (Locals credit the challenging drive with keeping the area’s population down.)

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