CA Highway 116: Sebastopol to Green Valley Road
I recently took a jaunt up 116 from Sebastopol to Green Valley Road. I did not stray much off the main road, though there are temptations close to it. I started in Sebastopol, home of the annual Apple Blossom Fair, and got caught in their Nuclear Free Zone maze of one way streets (VERY Berkeley) and road upgrades- keep your eyes open for 116! I missed it twice- goodness!- and was wagging-finger- scolded by a Volvo driver for finally insisting on the right of way….
Sebastopol is a cool, small town- great vibe and restaurants, theatre, open mikes, two fantastic Wine Road Lodging Members:
and Sebastopol Inn:
Head north on 116.
(You will pass Occidental Road- and I did not stray- but to tempt you: to the left (west) to Barlow Road, look for Taft Street Winery. If you head to the right, east, watch for Balletto Vineyards and then HANNA Russian River Valley.)
Heading north here comes Merry Edwards Winery.
As I traveled along 116 I especially wanted to capture two characteristic traits of the Russian River Valley AVA: the presence of the e’er present coastal fog, hovering around the edges AND the incredible proximity of apples (Gravenstein Apples- Luther Burbank praises them as perfection in the round and the ONLY apple that needs to be grown) to the grapes. Risking life and limb, jumping out of my car, here you go:
Heading further north on 116, I passed Frei Road- but did not yet stray- though I will-so do not yet look to your left/west- we are coming back… instead I pressed on to Graton Ridge Cellars.
Graton Ridge is right at Vine Hill Road- another cool lodging here is Vine Hill Inn:
To keep this an easy one day jaunt, I now am heading back on 116 to the south- Graton Road cross and to my right (west) are:
Right next door, Red Car Winery:
Two fantastic wineries, conveniently neighbors- nice grounds, outdoor areas, tasty wines and snazzy TR’s.
And then I strayed further west on Graton Road to the little town of Graton.
VERY small town:
Update Spring 2013: Paul Mathew Tasting Room! New addition in Graton!
If you head west on Graton Road towards Occidental, you will come to Marimar Estate Winery.
Heading east on Graton Road, crossing 116 and joining up with Frei, next up is Lynmar Estate Winery:
On my way out River Road, caught these Burma Shave Signs- OMG!
Here’s looking at you, kids.