There’s so much to love about the Anderson Valley year-round, but spring is an especially delightful time of year.
With mellow temperatures, gardens bursting with fresh produce, verdant vineyards spotted with mustard and the scent of wildflowers in the air, this is a magical time of year—before the summer crowds descend. From newly opened tasting rooms and wine tasting adventures to yet to be discovered immersive culinary events, spring is the time to visit Anderson Valley.
New Wineries and Wine Experiences
Fathers + Daughters Cellars
Fathers + Daughters Cellars, a tiny family owned winery operated by Guy Pacurar and his wife, Sarah, has begun to offer tasting experiences at their Ferrington Vineyard property. The Pacurars are delighted to be able to welcome visitors to the property and share their wines with them. Previously, Fathers + Daughters wines were only available to taste at the Brewery Gulch Inn, which Guy Pacurar owned until selling the property in late 2022.
Specializing in small batch, carefully crafted and fermented wines made with native yeasts, Fathers + Daughters wines reflect their unique terroir.
Reservations are required in order to book an experience at Fathers + Daughters. As of yet, the winery doesn’t have a reservation option on their website, so guests may email Guy Pacurar at [email protected]. Weather and time permitting, guests will be treated to a tour of the vineyard and an outdoor tasting overlooking the vineyards.
Brashley Vineyards, started by Ashley Palm and her husband, Bram, is the newest winery addition to the valley. Since opening their doors to visitors, the Palms have infused the valley with new energy—offering a fun and casual experience and environment, including unique features such as a giant chess board and corn hole. They have also opened the space up as a place to watch key sports games, as well as to host fun events like their Pizza Mondays, where the couple’s CIA trained chef bakes up ridiculously delicious pizza in the winery’s outdoor pizza oven.
Culinary and Other Special Events
Anderson Valley Open House Weekend, May 27-29
The artists of the Anderson Valley are hosting their annual open studio tour to showcase the quality and diversity of the artists living in the region May 27-29. In addition to the open studio showcase, there will be group exhibitions and community networking. artistsofandersonvalley.org.
Boonville Hotel Winemaker Dinners
Boonville Hotel is hosting a series of Winemaker Dinners. The next two events are a Pennyroyal Winemaker Dinner on Sunday, May 7 and a Handley Cellars Winemaker Dinner Friday, May 19. boonvillehotel.com.
Saturday Suppers at The Apple Farm
The Apple Farm has launched a new monthly Saturday Supper series, featuring different local wineries at each dinner. These dinners are all-inclusive and inspired by Apple Farm matriarch and original French Laundry founder Sally Schmitt (who passed away in 2022), Schmitt’s cooking and her recently published cookbook, Six California Kitchens. It is not required to be guests at The Apple Farm in order to purchase seats and attend these events.
The Saturday Supper schedule runs from May through October. philoapplefarm.com/saturday-suppers.
Tapas and Wine Experience at Wickson, May 20
Winemakers from Domaine Anderson, Goldeneye, Long Meadow Ranch and Maggy Hawk will join together for an evening tapas and wine affair with live music at Wickson restaurant on May 20. Chef Jason Azevedo will demonstrate traditional live fire cooking techniques and serve tapas paired with wines from all four wineries. exploretock.com/wicksonrestaurant/event/408824/anderson-valley-pinot-fest-dinner.
The Sierra Nevada Music Festival, June 16-18
Sierra Nevada Music Festival is back, June 16-18. This festival has always had a big national and international following. However, the event hasn’t been held for some years due to the death of one of the founders. This will be the 26th edition, after a three-year COVID hiatus and the passing of festival creator and promoter Warren Smith. snwmf.com.
May is Anderson Valley Pinot Month and the month during which the valley’s popular annual Pinot Fest is held.
This year, the Anderson Valley Winegrowers are assembling 12 unique auction experience lots for their second ever annual online auction. Lots can be viewed at 32auctions.com/AVPNF2023.
The 3-Day Pinot Fest Event Schedule
Friday, May 19
Technical Conference, 8:30am-4pm
“Historical Perspective of Vineyards and the Valley’s Future”
“The Role of Barrel Aging in Anderson Valley Pinot Noir”
“40 Years of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir: In Conversation With Old Roots and New Shoots”
Casual BBQ & Sunset in the Vineyard, 5-8pm
Saturday, May 20
VIP Bubble Lounge at Scharffenberger Cellars, 10am-1pm
Grand Tasting at Scharffenberger Cellars, 11am-3pm
Sunday, May 21
Winery Open Houses, 11am-5pm
Boonville Hotel has a 25% discount offer for reservations the weekend of May 5/May 6 *while supplies last. When booking a room for this weekend, request “April Showers May Flowers Special” to get 25% off of a room cost. boonvillehotel.com.
Pinot Fest Wickson Dinner May 20
Winemakers Darrin Low, Kristen McMahan, Stephane Vivier and Sarah Wuethrich will be at The Madrones in Philo following the annual Pinot Noir Festival for an evening affair of Tapas, Wine and Live Music. This full Anderson Valley experience of thoughtfully curated tapas prepared by Wickson Restaurant will be paired with fine wines from Domaine Anderson, Goldeneye Winery, Long Meadow Ranch and Maggy Hawk.
Wickson Winemaker Dinner
As a highlight of the upcoming Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, happening May 19-21, Lula Cellars will be hosting the Friday night opening BBQ and Sunset Event.
Lula Cellars, 2800 Guntly Road, Philo, 707-895-3737, www.lulacellars.com.
Fathers + Daughters
At Anderson Valley’s Pinot Noir Festival, Fathers + Daughters Cellars will be pouring their new releases of pinot noir (2020 Weir Vineyard and 2020 Ferrington Vineyard) and providing barrel samples of their 2021 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir.