Sample the Wines of the Redwood Coast
Humboldt County’s Redwood Coast has more than 13 local wineries and vineyards producing a variety of wines, from crisp white zinfandel to rich merlot, to sparkling wines and honey mead. Come and tour our local wineries and sample the flavorful wines of Humboldt County.
Day 1: Taste the Wines of Southern Humboldt
As you travel north along the redwood coast visit Briceland Vineyards in Redway. You can call ahead and arrange a private tour at (707) 923-2429. If you will be visiting on Thanksgiving or Memorial Day Weekend, take advantage of Briceland’s Open House. Follow Briceland Road out of Redway for 6 miles. Look for the winery sign on the right-hand side of the road.
North of Redway is Myers Flat where you can tour and taste the Riverbend Cellars. Riverbend Cellars is home to a 30-acre vineyard. Come try their Coquette (a white field blend of 9 different grapes), Resolute Red, and Merlot. They are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week for tours and wine tasting. Stay for a late lunch or an early dinner at the Groves Restaurant, which features wood-fired oven pizzas, salads and sandwiches, fresh seafood, delicious steaks, and homemade desserts. If staying for dinner please call ahead for reservations at 707-943-9930.
While enjoying the sumptuous wines of Southern Humboldt don’t forget to visit the Avenue of the Giants in Myers Flat. Take this scenic drive through these towering trees and experience the magnificent redwoods.
SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT Wineries
BRICELAND VINEYARDS’ founders, Maggie Carey and Joe Collins are celebrating the winery’s 20th anniversary with the release of their 2005 vintage wines. The winery was established with the goal of producing top-quality wines from Humboldt County grapes. Over the past twenty years, BRICELAND has worked with the local grape growers in the planting of their small vineyards and has encouraged them to use organic methods.
BRICELAND was the first to plant Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay in the area. The quality and distinction of the wines speak for themselves. They include Humboldt Brut Sparkling wine (Methode Champenoise), Sauvignon Blanc, and vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. In addition, the winery produces Nebbiolo and Arneis, two little-known Italian varietals. Many thanks to our grape growers and local clientele for their support. BRICELAND holds semiannual tastings and open houses during Memorial Day and Thanksgiving weekends. Tours and sales by appointment. (707)923-2429
ELK PRAIRIE VINEYARD is a 10-acre estate vineyard and winery located on Fruitland Ridge, at a 1,200-foot elevation above the ancient redwoods, four miles off the famous Avenue of the Giants in southern Humboldt County. Closely planted, extensively hand-cultivated, and dry-farmed in heavily shoaled soil, their vines produce small yields of small grapes with intense flavors and soft tannins. Award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc wines are available for sale, and winegrowers and winemakers Alan and Sandra Estrada welcome visitors by appointment at www.elkprairievineyard.com.
RIVERBEND CELLARS is family owned and operated, the vision of two brothers, Thomas and Michael Meagher. The 30-acre Pierre Castillou Vineyard (named for the brothers’ great grandfather) and Winery is located in Myers Flat, where the Morrison Jackson Sawmill once operated. Visitors are invited to sample the award-winning wines of Riverbend Cellars at the “Taste of Humboldt,” tasting room open seven days a week, 11 am to 6 pm. The tasting room also features local specialty foods, picnic items, local art, and much more. For more information call (707) 943-9907 or visit their website www.riverbendcellars.com.
WHITETHORN WINERY was founded in 1991 and is located near Whitethorn, a remote and rugged coastal valley in southern Humboldt County. Over the years they have worked with several great vineyards to make small handcrafted vintages of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Their wines are well known within the San Francisco Bay Area restaurant community. They are served in many of the finest restaurants including Chez Panisse, Ritz-Carlton, Masa’s, Gary Danko, Spago, Auberge du Soleil, and the French Laundry. Open by appointment, winemaker Tasha McKee can be reached at (707) 986-1642 for winery tours.
Day 2: Wine and Dine in Northern Humboldt
Eureka is the hub of Humboldt County and its largest city. Visit the Art of Wine, in Old Town Eureka along the historic Eureka Waterfront. The Art of Wine is open during the winter from Wednesday – Saturday: open at noon, and during the summer Tuesday – Sunday: open at 11 am. View art crafted by local artists, and sample wines from 13 Humboldt County vineyards and other areas in Northern California.
While you are in Eureka, spend some time wandering around Old town and experience the historic architecture and beautiful waterfront views. Stop in for lunch at one of the many Old Town restaurants such as Hurricane Kates, Opera Alley Bistro, or Chapala Café, and enjoy our local cuisine.
Drive north to Fieldbrook and take a tour of the Fieldbrook Winery. Be sure to call ahead for an appointment at 800-701-5016. Visitors are always welcome. The grapes for their wines come from select vineyards in Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties. Vineyards are chosen which represent both varietal identity and regional character. The Fieldbrook Winery is located at 4241 Fieldbrook Road, 6 miles east of Highway 101. Take the Murray Road exit. If you get lost, just stop at the Fieldbrook General Store to ask for directions.
For Dinner, Drive south to the University town of Arcata and visit the Arcata Plaza. Here you can experience a variety of dining options such as Tomo Japanese Restaurant, Mazzotti’s Ristorante Italiano, the Folie Douce, Plaza Grill, or Abruzzi Restaurant.
NORTHERN HUMBOLDT Wineries
MOONSTONE CROSSING WINERY in Trinidad selects grapes grown in small vineyards from the Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Amador appellations. Their wines are handcrafted in small quantities, and are neither refined nor filtered, nor pumped, with only a minimum of sulfites added in the winemaking and bottling process. Specializing in hearty, full-bodied, rich flavored red varietals, present and future offerings include Sangiovese, Barbera, Zinfandel, Old Vine Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Nebbiolo, Aglianico, and Pinotage, along with Zinfandel and Souzao Ports. A crisp but smooth Chardonnay will also be available with red varietals. Moonstone is presently in the licensing phase and is currently constructing an ocean-view facility near Trinidad, with retail sales available in late spring 2005. Winemaker Don Bremm welcomes inquiries and is available at (707) 677-3832.
FIELDBROOK WINERY was established by Winemaker Robert Hodgson, professor emeritus of Humboldt State University. For 30 years Robert has produced 1,200 cases annually. Fieldbrook is the oldest winery in Humboldt County and has received winning medals in some of the toughest wine competitions. Robert and his wife Judy produce eight premium varietals including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel from select growers in Trinity, Humboldt, and northern Mendocino Counties, and have expanded into the Italian varietals of Tocai Fruilano (a white grape), Barbera and Sangiovese. The winery hosts quarterly Wine Club events and semi-annual sales, and the tasting room is open by appointment at http://www.fieldbrookwinery.com
or (707) 839-4140.
ROBERT GOODMAN WINES – Robert has been creating wines since 1978 and his wines have been commercially available since 1997. The winery is located on Fickle Hill outside of Arcata and is cooled by the surrounding redwood forest and the nearby Pacific Ocean. This incredibly ideal location for a winery is not suitable for growing grapes, so his Napa Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Howell Mountain’s Beatty Ranch and Polaris Vineyards in Napa, his Pinot Noirs are now made exclusively from organically grown Humboldt County grapes and his Chardonnay is from the Sangiacomo Family vineyards in the Carneros Region of Sonoma County. The wines are available at restaurants and retail outlets. More information is available at http://www.robertgoodmanwines.com or (707) 825-7406.
HEIDRUN MEADERY – Arcata, handcrafts naturally sparkling honey wine (mead) using the traditional French Methode Champenoise. The Heidrun trademark Champagne-style of mead is light, delicate, and refreshing with flavor profiles ranging from floral and fruity to herbal and earthy. Each varietal is produced exclusively from the honey of specific floral origin and provenance, and each varietal is suited to a particular cuisine or occasion. Located in Arcata and operating since 1997, Heidrun Meadery produces 1,000 cases per year. Gordon Hull is the founding mead maker. Tours and tasting by appointment at (707) 825-8748 or www.heidrunmeadery.com.
LLUVIA WINERY is a small family-owned winery located north of Arcata. Winemakers Dylan Gary and Michelle Elaine focus on creating high-quality wines that express the unique characteristics inherent to each grape varietal, with emphasis on Bordeaux and Rhone varietals and late harvest Ports. The wines of Lluvia are handmade in small lots, with great care, detail, and passion. Lluvia is open by reservation, call (707) 840-0705.
OLIVEIRA WINERY – In 1982 the late Ed Oliveira founded the Ed Oliveira Winery in Arcata as a small family winery. In 1983 Ed and Dean Williams successfully petitioned the BATF to designate a 6000-acre Trinity River region as the Willow Creek Viticulture Area. Known for hearty “big oak” reds, Oliveira wines are produced from Dry Creek Valley and homegrown Willow Creek AVA grapes in the traditional style pressed in an old wooden basket press and aged in fine French and American Oak Barrels. Tastings are limited to groups and by appointment only with winemaker Doug Oliveira at email@example.com or call (707) 822-3023.
OLD GROWTH CELLARS is located in the hills east of Eureka overlooking Humboldt Bay. Set in the redwoods, it is a relatively small winery producing approximately 500-600 cases annually. Owners/winemakers Steve Garrett and Jim Pastori have turned a passion for fine wines into a successful partnership. Old Growth Cellars is now producing a limited number of red wines. The Vintage Red is a blend of three varietals, Zinfandel, Carignane, and Petite Sirah. The Zinfandel, with grapes grown in Mendocino County, has a great balance and wonderful fruit flavors. The flagship wine for Old Growth is their Petite Sirah. The deep rich color and aromas let you know this is something special. Enjoy! For more information call (707) 444-2333.
Day 3: Northern Humboldt Winery Tours
For a taste of something a bit out of the ordinary, including a visit to Heidrun Meadery. Located in Arcata, they produce naturally sparking honey wine (mead) using the traditional French Methode Champenoise. Each varietal is produced exclusively from the honey of specific floral origin and provenance, and each varietal is suited to a particular cuisine or occasion. Visitors are welcome. There are no designated tour hours, but tours and tasting can be arranged by appointment at (707) 825-8748.
Drive South to Eureka and visit Old Growth Cellars. Appointments for tours and tasting can be made at (707) 444-2333. Here you will find sumptuous wines such as the Vintage Red, a blend of three varietals, Zinfandel, Carignane, and Petite Sirah. The Zinfandel, with grapes grown in Mendocino County, has a great balance and wonderful fruit flavors.
Enjoy an elegant dinner in Eureka at one of our fine dining establishments such as Avalon, winner of the Wine Spectator Excellence Award in 2006, or Restaurant 301, winner of the Grand Award in Wine Spectator Magazine. located in the historic Carter House. Here you can experience elegant dining accompanied by a glass of your favorite local wine.
NORTHWEST HUMBOLDT Wineries
WINNETT VINEYARDS was founded when retired educators David and Sharon Winnett fell in love with Northern California on summer trips from the prairies of Illinois. It was here that they decided to bring their dream of creating excellent wines to life. The Winnett’s are very proud that their vineyards are USDA certified “organic” and that all wines are estate bottled. Winemaker David Winnett invites you to call for an appointment for a private tasting and tour of the vineyards and the oldest bonded winery in Willow Creek. (530) 629-3478
COATES VINEYARDS’ 17-acre estate vineyard and winery are located in the hamlet of Orleans, California on the Klamath River, about 80 miles northeast of Arcata. The benefits of drenching sunshine in the inner valleys, with a nocturnal cooling influence from the ocean as air, wriggles its way up the river valleys, create perfect conditions for the high-quality wine grapes to ripen and express their varietal character. The grapes are organically grown and vented in small lots, sulfite-free, unfiltered, and unrefined, and are aged in American and French Oak Barrels. These traditionalist handmade wines using state-of-the-art equipment are available in restaurants and outlets. Winery tours are available by reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 627-3369.
DOGWOOD ESTATE WINERY was licensed in 2004 by Gary Barker, proprietor, and winemaker, and is located on the northwestern tip of Trinity County on the Trinity River at the base of the Trinity Mountains. The estate’s vineyards include Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir which benefit from the warm days and cool nights of Trinity County, with the majority of the boutique winery’s grapes coming from the finest vineyards in Napa Valley. Gary uses French and American Oak Barrels and produces 1,200 cases annually. Currently, his 2002 Zinfandel is available for tasting, and tours of the winery gardens by appointment at email@example.com or (530) 629-3750.
CABOT VINEYARDS – Orleans: After 10 years of growing organic produce on the Klamath River in Orleans, John and Kimberly Cabot decided to focus on growing wine grapes. In 2001 they bottled their first wines. Because they grow their own fruit they are able to be involved with every aspect of producing Cabot Vineyards wines. Cabot Vineyards was founded on the belief that the making of great wines requires hands-on craftsmanship. Our award-winning, estate winery currently produces 700 cases per year. Take an adventure into a remote corner of Humboldt County with Cabot Vineyards wines and taste the depth of character that Nature creates. Visit us at www.cabotvineyards.com. Tours can be arranged.
Day 4: Spend a day in Sunny Willow Creek
East on Highway 299 is the quiet town of Willow Creek. Here you will find Winnett Vineyards. Winemaker, David Winnett invites you to call for an appointment for a private tasting and tour of the vineyards and the oldest bonded winery in Willow Creek. Please call (530) 629-3478. Winnett Vineyards are USDA certified “organic” and all wines are estate bottled.
While in Willow Creek, visit Cinnabar Sam’s for lunch and steak, seafood, salad, bbq, and a glass of local wine or beer with your meal.
Don’t miss the China Flat and Bigfoot museum while you’re in Willow creek to get a flavor for the area’s history and culture as well as its delicious wine.
We hope you enjoy your tour of Humboldt County’s wineries and take the flavors of Humboldt County with you.