While driving around searching for wineries with tasting rooms regularly open to the public we wander into some wonderful settings. Maple Creek Winery is one of our favorites for picnicking. It is located along the mountainous Mendocino County part of Highway 128 in the Yorkville Highlands AVA area west of Cloverdale in the Alexander Valley. Route 128 snakes through Napa Valley, Alexander Valley, and the Yorkville area into Anderson Valley then on to the coast. It is an amazing wine trail and the mountain section in Mendocino County is fun to drive and explore.
The 180 acre mountain ranch is a terrific setting for a relaxing and scenic winery picnic and we’ve picnicked there twice.
Vintner Tom Rodrigues is a painter and stained glass artist and displays his crafts in the rustic barn tasting room. Tom and his wife Linda are gracious hosts at their winery events in front of the tasting room and anchored around an old farm truck.
Their 2007 Chardonnay is French oak fermented and rather soft with moderate aroma and finish. We paired it with sea bass for a nice meal. For desert we opened their Artevino brand Cowboy Red blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, and Carignane which is a nice full bodied aromatic wine.
The 180 acre ranch has edible mushrooms, wild boar, orchards, vineyards, 2 miles of creek and 7 springs. They can live, and drink, off the land in their wild mountain retreat. You can drop by, enjoy a wine tasting and picnic, and savoir their lifestyle for a few hours.