“We have always been intrigued by the dramatic climate and geography of the Anderson Valley, as well as the region’s potential to make pure expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay...we jumped at the opportunity to plant a stake in this incredible place.” -Chris Hall
Our Anderson Valley tasting room is now open at The Madrones, a boutique resort in Philo, California. The tasting room is a great spot to start exploring Anderson Valley, which offers plenty to discover. (Hint: See our interview with Anderson Valley local and Tasting Room Manager, Mark Mendenhall, below!)
Since we acquired the estate back in 2015, we have been looking forward to providing visitors to the Anderson Valley with an opportunity to taste wines close to where the grapes are grown, bringing the experience full circle.
Our Anderson Valley Estate is located just a few miles away from the tasting room, in the west, or “deep end". The Estate is 145 acres, with 69 acres planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. It is an idyllic property, with the Navarro River forming the southwest border, and the Pacific Ocean nearby bringing in cool sea breezes. The marine layer blankets the vineyard, creating the ideal terroir for estate-grown Burgundian varieties.
This vineyard is named Tanbark Mill Vineyard, named to honor the past where a tanbark mill was in operation in the late 1800's. The Tanbark Mill Vineyard showcases diverse terrain and soil types, producing some exciting wines. There are three primary soil types across the vineyard. Feliz loam, which is the primary soil for our chardonnay vines, and the deep Pinole loam and the more compact Perrygulch loam for the Pinot Noir. All three of these are the namesake for our designated Tanbark Mill Vineyard wines.
Burgundy native, Stéphane Vivier was brought on to the Long Meadow Ranch winemaking team to produce our Anderson Valley wines. Stéphane’s goal is to put the best expression of the region into the glass and create wines that represent the story of Long Meadow Ranch and the Anderson Valley in a way people can connect with.
When you join us at our Anderson Valley tasting room, you will experience flights of our Anderson and Napa Valley wines, which can be paired with house-made products and local cheese. Guests can also taste and purchase our estate grown organic olive oils from Napa Valley and Long Meadow Ranch provisions.
Later this year, we look forward to offering an exclusive Anderson Valley Estate Experience. The guided journey will take you through our estate’s Tanbark Mill Vineyard to explore the rolling hills and diverse soil types. The experience will conclude at the tasting room to taste our Tanbark Mill Vineyard wines and enjoy small bites.
The Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley tasting room is open Thursday-Monday, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment. For details and reservations, please visit our Anderson Valley page.
Faces of LMR
Mark got his start in the wine industry over 15 years ago, when he followed a couple of college friends out to California. After working for multiple wineries in the Napa Valley, Mark decided to leave Napa for Philo.
What do love about the wine industry?
The people! Everyone is happy to be a part of this industry, because it is fun and exciting.
Aha wine moment?
Drinking vintage Salon Champagne at Auberge du Soleil on my birthday just after I moved to Napa was pretty epic. My first boss took me out to her favorite spot for my birthday and we had a blast! The company I was with, paired with the food, that bottle of Salon and the setting was perfect! Did I mention the vintage Salon?
What is your current favorite Long Meadow Ranch wine and why?
Our 2015 Chardonnay Tanbark Mill Vineyard, Feliz from our Anderson Valley Estate is absolutely one of the best Chardonnays I have ever had. It is nicely balanced and a wonderful expression of our Tanbark Mill Vineyard.
What current wine trend are you noticing right now?
Esoteric white varietals. The traditional Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay consumer is branching out and willing to try Pinot Noir Blanc and Pinot Gris. When guests open their mind to trying new wines, they soon discover how wonderful the world of wine really is. Take for example, in our new tasting room, guests can try several different expressions of the same grape grown in the same vineyard. What is not to love about that? I love our Anderson Valley Chardonnays, but come up to the Anderson Valley and taste the 2016 Pinot Noir Blanc. I’ll bet you will find it extremely compelling.
What makes a great tasting experience?
It is about providing a great space, with incredible wines, homegrown food pairings, and fun good music. It is a wonderful privilege to bring this to our guests.
Is there a wine region that you’ve got on your bucket list?
Burgundy. I’ve had some amazing wines from there.
You have been living in Anderson Valley for a while, what keeps you there?
There is a real sense of community and despite how rural it is, there is no shortage of things to do on any given night. Having dinner and enjoying wine is a regular occurrence with so many wonderful people.
What do you wish people knew about Anderson Valley?
How beautiful it is. A lot of people mix it up with Alexander Valley (just north of Calistoga). So we get that a lot.
Favorite place to eat in Anderson Valley?
There are only three restaurants. I’d say the food up here is exceptionally fresh and good. After a long day, we often enjoy going to Lauren’s. For over 20 years Lauren has had her spot in downtown Boonville or DoBo as we call it. You can get a delicious burger, with the best french fries, or a great chicken tostada, and the always delicious Asian Big Bowl. We however cook a lot at home, my favorite home cooked meal (and this is tough) is probably the chicken marsala from Cook’s Illustrated.
Best outdoor activity in Anderson Valley?
Visiting Hendy Woods State Park, which is subsequently just across the street from our ranch, Tanbark Mill. Hendy Woods allows visitors the opportunity to get up close with our giant redwoods. But for locals it’s also a place to unwind. The Navarro River runs through Hendy Woods and in the winter watching the river swell, “A Log Lifter” in Boontling, is an epic event.
Lastly, Give us one small town secret.
Oh I can’t give those away. However, the Aromatic White Wine Festival in February is always a great event at our local fairgrounds. Great producers of historically Alsatian white grapes. We get producers from France, Germany, Michigan, and of course California. It’s a wonderful time of year to visit the Anderson Valley too. It’s a bit slower in terms of tourists, and the winter food that we pair with the wines is always outrageous. Nothing like a bottle of Pinot Gris with the Boonville Hotel’s Choucroute Garrnie.
At The Table
Cast Iron Farm Apple Crisp
Cast Iron Farm Apple Crisp
serve with Late Harvest Chardonnay, Anderson Valley, 2015
Recipe Courtesy of Michael Markoff - Executive Sous Chef
Makes one 12 inch cast iron (serves 4-6)
3# Honey Crisp apples cut into wedges (any apple is fine)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tbl cinnamon
1/2 cup Bates & Schmitt apple juice
2 tbl lemon juice
3 tbl butter
1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of AP flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
A few almonds to grate on top, ice cream of your choice! (we like vanilla)
- Gather all your mise en place!
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Combine all ingredients for the topping in a bowl, except for the butter. Mix thoroughly, then slowly add in the butter. Mixing until it is well combined.
- Mix the apples, cinnamon, and sugar. Melt butter into a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add apple mixture and cook for 10 minutes. Add apple juice and simmer for 2 more minutes, remove from heat and mix in lemon juice.
- Sprinkle the topping over the top, bake for 12 minutes at 425F.
- Serve with a chilled bottle of Long Meadow Ranch Late Harvest Chardonnay, Anderson Valley 2015.