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Big wine, beer in tiny Boonville

  • 05/09/2010: D3
    PC: The Boonville Hotel in central Boonville.

At one time it was so isolated local farmers and loggers developed their own language — Boontling — that a few old Boontners still speak today.

A day trip or weekend away in Boont, as it was known in the native patois, can still feel like you're heading out into the deep woods without straying too far off Highway 128.

Tiny Boonville, with slightly more than 1,000 inhabitants, is the commercial hub of the Anderson Valley and a central place to stay and eat while exploring the wineries, farmstands and parks of this pastoral stopping point between Cloverdale and the coast.

You really don't have to stray far from "town" to find things to do. There are several wineries worth a relaxed stop.

Just outside Boonville at 11001 Highway 128 is the yellow house with the burgundy roof of Breggo (breggo.com), known for its Alsatian whites and pinot noir. Just to the west at 12351 Highway 128 is Elke, known for its handcrafted, Old World-style pinot noirs and food-friendly pinot gris.

Beer drinkers will want to make a pilgrimage to the storied Anderson Valley Brewing Company for some "Bahl Hornin'" (good drinking). Tours held daily at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., 17700 Highway 253.

Get a good stretch of the legs or cool off in the Navarro River at Hendy Woods State Park, eight miles northwest of Boonville just off Highway 128 on the Philo Greenwood Road. On the way, you'll pass the The Apple Farm. Don't fail to stop for some chutney and fresh August Pippins.

You can also book a cottage starting at $200 a night midweek (philoapplefarm.com). Their Farmhouse Mercantile has gifts for the home in downtown Boonville, located near Paysanne, with its organic ice cream and homemade cookies.

Lay your head down at The Boonville Hotel after filling up on a family-style feast at the upscale roadhouse's Table 128 Restaurant. Comfy accommodations, a mix of contemporary and country, start at $185. Boonvillehotel.com.


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