Wine Tasting\r\n\r\n\r\nLake County aspires to be California\u2019s next great Cabernet country, but the region\u2019s wineries continue to explore beyond King Cab. In downtown Kelseyville, the Rosa d\u2019Oro tasting room features Italian-inspired wines. Just outside town, Steele is one of the region\u2019s pioneering producers. Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill operates the only olive mill in Lake County and offers flights of its oils as well as its wines. At Cache Creek Vineyards, guests can picnic in an area that overlooks a stream, perhaps even sight a herd of Tule elk.\r\n\r\nIn Mendocino\u2019s Anderson Valley, start your trip with a splash of bubbly at Roederer Estate. You\u2019ll learn about how sparkling wine is made and taste the difference between sparklers poured from a regular-sized bottle and a magnum. For the Pinot obsessed, Baxter, Balo Vineyards, Handley Cellars and Foursight Wines make some of the best in the area. At Goldeneye Winery, you can compare Anderson Valley Pinot Noir with bottlings from grapes grown in Sonoma, produced by the winery\u2019s sister label, Migration. If you have a sweet tooth, Navarro Vineyards\u2019 Cluster Select series includes some of the most distinctive dessert wines in the U.S.\r\nCraft Beer and Spirits\r\n\r\n\r\nMendocino is home to one of California\u2019s most vibrant craft beer scenes, with destinations like Anderson Valley Brewing Company and Mendocino Brewing Company. In 1988, Mark Ruedrich founded North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg, inspired by British beer traditions. Its portfolio holds standouts like Pranqster Belgian Style Golden Ale, Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale and Acme California Pale Ale, a reimagining of a popular pre-Prohibition beer.\r\n\r\nFor those who are after sips of something stronger, Germain-Robin, in Ukiah, is one of the most acclaimed brandy producers outside Cognac, France. Distilled in a small antique potstill from high- quality wine grapes, the brandy has been served in the White House. The company shares a facility with American Craft Whiskey Distillery, where Crispin Cain bottles rye whiskey, as well as dark gin under his Russell Henry label.\r\nOf Lakes and Oceans\r\nMuch of Lake County\u2019s outdoor activities center around its namesake, Clear Lake, the state\u2019s largest body of freshwater. The lake is ideal for swimming, fishing and camping, and several companies rent boats and Jet-Skis. For breathtaking views, visitors can hike Mount Konocti, the dormant volcano responsible for the distinctive soils of the Red Hills AVA.\r\nJust beyond wine country, the Mendocino coastline intersperses rocky, wave-pounded headlands with ancient redwood groves. With its Victorian architecture, the town of Mendocino conveys New England-like charm. Kelley House, a museum in the historic district, recounts the town\u2019s origins as a logging community. Boutiques and art galleries line Mendocino\u2019s streets, while hiking trails on the town\u2019s outskirts lead to the water.\r\n\r\nNorth of Fort Bragg, MacKerricher State Park abounds with marine life. Harbor seals lounge in the sand, while crabs and starfish rest in the tide pools. Visitors might even spot whales as they spout in the distance. As you drive back through Fort Bragg, stop at Cowlick\u2019s to try its candy-cap mushroom ice cream, a local delicacy.\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n See All of Our 2017 Guide to California >\r\n \r\n\r\nWhere to Stay\r\n\r\n\r\nMendocino boasts fabulous, quirky lodging options in the heart of Anderson Valley wine country. The Boonville Hotel in Boonville calls itself a \u201cmodern roadhouse,\u201d with 15 rooms in the main building and surrounding cabins. Each guest accommodation is different, with amenities that range from wood-burning fireplaces to outdoor showers. The hotel is also home to restaurant Table 128.\r\n\r\nUp the valley in Philo, The Madrones provides a boutique, luxury experience in a Mediterranean-inspired atmosphere. Rooms are stylish and spacious, and the Stone & Embers restaurant is a local favorite for its wood-fired pizzas. You don\u2019t have to leave the property for wine tasting, as Drew and Bink house their tasting rooms there.\r\n\r\nIn Lake County, the 19th-century Tallman Hotel was fully restored in 2003. Guests can unwind in several ways. Relax in traditional Japanese ofuro (wooden) soaking tubs in select rooms, or enjoy the popular \u201cConcerts With Conversation\u201d series.\r\n\r\n\r\nWhere to Eat\r\nHoused in the charming Boonville Hotel, Table 128 cooks up a prix-fixe menu that changes daily and is served family style.\r\n\r\nProprietor Johnny Schmitt and his team of chefs take inspiration from local ingredients, complemented by a wine list that features Mendocino\u2019s top bottlings.\r\n\r\nDuring summer, the restaurant serves fresh-shucked oysters and paella on its expansive outdoor patio.\r\n\r\nA popular establishment when the town of Upper Lake was a stagecoach stop, the original Blue Wing Saloon was torn down during Prohibition. Today, the re-created restaurant lives again adjacent to the Tallman Hotel. It serves up hearty California cuisine alongside live music several nights a week.\r\n\r\nThe menu at The Saw Shop Bistro in Kelseyville features old-school favorites like oysters Rockefeller and veal piccata, and changes seasonally to highlight locally sourced ingredients. Likewise, the wine list showcases Lake County selections to enjoy on the quaint, wraparound porch.\u00a0\u2014Bryce Wiatrak\r\nTips from Local Experts\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJoy Merrilees,\u00a0Director of Winemaking,\u00a0Shannon Ridge Family of Wines\r\n\r\nTwo types of visitors venture to Lake County, Joy Merrilees says: \u201chistory buffs and outdoor adventure seekers.\u201d People interested in the past head to the remains of 19th-century geothermal spas at Highland Springs and Witter Springs. Several old stagecoach stops dot the region, which include Six Sigma Ranch and the Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum, which hosts monthly Fiddler\u2019s Jams. The Lakeport Historic Courthouse Museum tells the Native American story.\r\n\r\nPeople interested in the past head to the remains of 19th-century geothermal spas at Highland Springs and Witter Springs.\r\n\r\nMerrilees, whose parents were hippies who moved back to the land, was born in Lake County and embraces the open spaces. She recommends the Konocti Regional Trails kayak maps for Clear Lake and says that a good bass guide like Chris Childers makes fishing a sure victory.\r\n\r\nNorth of Clear Lake, the Mendocino National Forest\r\noffers campgrounds, four-wheeler trails and 4,600-foot Pinnacle Rock, from which \u201cyou can see all the way to the Sierras on a clear winter day."\u00a0\u2014Jim Gordon\r\n\r\nChase Thornhill,\u00a0Senior Brand Manager,\u00a0Mendocino Wine Co.\r\n\r\nFor inland Mendocino, Chase Thornhill recommends a hike in Montgomery Woods for its serenity and giant redwoods, plusthe mineral baths at Vichy Springs by moonlight. Along the coast, he loves the steamed mussels at the Albion River Inn. \u2014J.G.\r\n\r\nBryan Kane,\u00a0Co-owner/winemaker,\u00a0Sol Rouge Vineyard & Winery\r\n\r\nThe estate vines of Sol Rouge grow at the base of Mount Konocti, and Brian Kane loves the summit trail and its views over Clear Lake and the Red Hills. He credits the Lake County Wine Studio in Upper Lake for \u201cshowcasing wines from small wineries that don\u2019t have tasting rooms here.\u201d \u2014J.G.