Navarro Vineyards’s Ted Bennett and Deborah Cahn were drawn to the Anderson Valley in the 1970s to plant Gewürztraminer, a favorite variety.
They are now 40 years into making delicious Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and late-harvest wines. Most lunch hours the redwood picnic tables on the winery’s tasting room deck and throughout its gardens fill with travelers.
“Views of the vines, redwood-covered hills and flocks of sheep help slow down even the most hassled ‘bright lighter’ (‘city slicker’ in Boontling, the local language),” says Cahn.
The tasting room sells cheeses from Pennyroyal Farm down the road in Boonville, the going concern of the Cahn-Bennett’s grown-up daughter, Sarah.
Pennyroyal gets its milk from Babydoll Southdown and Panama sheep and a plethora of goats that graze in Navarro’s vineyards, as well as a 66-acre farmstead in Boonville, peppered with wild grasses and pennyroyal mint, the genesis of the name.
Navarro Cuvée 128 Sauvignon Blanc (Mendocino)
Navarro Méthode à l’Ancienne Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley)
Navarro Riesling (Anderson Valley)
Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest Gewürztraminer (Anderson Valley)
Three Granddaughters’ Butter Cookies
½ pound (two sticks) organic butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
Heat an oven to 375°F. It is not necessary to grease the cookie sheets but use a baking mat for faster cleanup—and eating. Cream the butter with the vanilla. Add the sugar and eggs and beat well. In a separate bowl, add the flour and salt to the butter mixture, blending thoroughly.
Arrange ½ teaspoons of dough on cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with a wet metal spatula and bake until cookies start to brown, about 8 minutes. Makes a dozen cookies.