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Beat The Heat- Mendocino County: Cool Places to Stay and Things to Do #1

Though Nevada County has a number of places and things to do to escape the scorching summer temperatures, KNCO’s Paul Haas recently went on assignment to find places outside of the county that people can venture to and beat the heat and hear the stories that add uniqueness to the adventure. As I researched the prospects, Mendocino County jumped out and I had a chance explore opportunities I had forgotten about or did not know existed.

The Anderson Valley is one of those areas and provides a lesser, but still, twisty route to the coast; and is also home to a number of outstanding wineries. Lula Cellars is one of those establishments; and though a relatively new vineyard also produces wine using other grapes in the valley. The tasting experience a bit different than Napa and Sonoma wineries of late.


Pouring six wines, Hospitality Manager Kim Badenhop, a former restaurant owner and chef, greeted us with a refreshing rose to help cool us off a bit.


Badenhop also recommending several other Lula wines good for the hot weather.


The Anderson Valley has a good reputation for quality Pinot Noirs, but a grape on the comeback is the Gewurztraminer. Badenhop mentions he likes to pair the good wines with what he calls “junk foods”- including food out of the freezer section at grocery stores!


Another “quirky” pairing he enjoys involves Papa Murphys and a cabernet…and of course he says the Pinot goes well with a strong protein.


Badenhop also quick to point out that the wine owner’s wife, Joni Avery creates all of the more traditional suggestions.

The Hospitality Manager also explained how Lula Cellars got its name… and unlike what many visitors think, it is not from the tasting room dog.


Lula Cellars is on the north end (Deep End) of the valley… and because it still is a bit warmer than the coast, be sure you stop at Gowans Oak Tree Fruit Stand to have an ice-cold frozen apple cider slushie.  The sweet icy beverage both cleansing the pallet and providing a refreshing treat for the last few miles to the coast. Inns, restaurants, outdoor adventure, and of course more wine are all part of the rest of the Beat the Heat series. More information about Lula Cellars at https://www.lulacellars.com/

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