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North of Ordinary California’s wine tasting scene in Lake County, Mendocino County and Humboldt County is flowing with unique tasting rooms and attractions – think petting zoos, dog-friendly tasting rooms, and bicycle trails – as well as breathtaking vineyards with ocean and lake vistas for zealous oenophiles. 


Glittering lakefronts give way to rolling hills of grapevines in Lake County. It’s a treasure trove of established vines and expert makers. 

Sip award-winning wines in a sleek tasting room or patio oasis with energizing views at Stonehouse Cellars. They’ve taken great care with a winemaking process grounded in science and finished with artistry. For a true escape, book a stay in one of the winery’s Bed & Barrel luxury suite, complete with farm-to-table breakfast. 

Soak up a Mediterranean riviera mood as you savor the 100% estate-grown wines of Boutique. This picturesque winery offers a wide selection from stellar whites and sparkling rose to lovely blended reds. Relax with a cheese board in the tasting room. Stroll through history with a promenade down a row of elegant, ancient olive trees to the antique boat collection. Share a bottle on the veranda and admire hillsides that give way to mountains.

Discover bold wines with low key vibes at Laujor. This intimate, family-owned winery features a cozy tasting room and welcoming patio with jaw-dropping mountain views. Pack your own picnic, bring the pup and sink into a tasting of Spanish and fortified reds or crisp whites. Be sure to book a tour of Laujor’s behind-the-scenes operations- they run daily.


A ladies weekend at Laujor winey in Lake County is a treat and the views are incredible. Photo by Karen Pavone.

Hike, bike, motor or sip your way around Six Sigma Ranch & Winery’s 3,000 acres of lush foothills. Get rugged on an all-terrain 6-wheeled tour of the vineyards or go straight to relaxing in the cabin-esque Stage Coach tasting room. Savor a little longer at the ranch’s soon-to-open “Huttopia” glamping experience featuring ready-to-camp tents and a rustic cafe.

Swirl your glass of awarded and impeccable wine surrounded by a storybook garden patio. Gregory Graham is as intimate as you get with a homey tasting room and Greg himself often pouring, chatting and sharing. Making wine since the 1980’s, he’s mastered the art. Pack a picnic, pick a bottle and enjoy fine wine and good vibes.


The narrow river gorges, rolling valleys and tall redwoods of Humboldt County make for spectacular growing conditions among its 150 acres of vineyards. 

Venture to downtown Arcata to Septentrio’s hip tasting room and sprawling patio. Explore over 50 different wines from carefully selected grapes across dozens of vineyards. Pair your flight with some charcuterie or a game of cornhole. 

Dive into the perfect pairing of wood-fired pizza and vino, and then wander the grounds of Fieldbrook Winery (which are worthy of a fairytale wedding). Find some Zin zen or a Chard recharge. Fieldbrook just feels vibrant, from the lush landscape to the staff. Family-owned since 1976, it’s not only Humboldt County’s oldest winery, but pretty sure it’s the most tranquil. 

Deepen your appreciation of wine and treat your palette at Briceland Vineyards wine. Unwind through a handpicked flight in their intimate tasting room. Humbboldt’s most awarded winemaker, Andrew, is typically pouring as he shares his passion.

Two women stroll through the rural vineyards at the family-owned Briceland Vineyards Winery in Redway, California

Briceland Vineyards has been producing small lot wines for over 80 years. Photo by Lynnette Braillard.


Exploring the wines of Mendocino County means cruising past magical miles of vine-covered foothills and rugged coastline.

Savor something truly local along CORO wine trail, a collection of wineries crafting ultra-premium Zinfandel, Mendocino’s signature varietal. With a rigorous certification process, it’s a distinctive wine that celebrates the terrain. Meander the historic Highway 101 to Barra to swirl your Zin in a stunning 5,000 square foot circular tasting room. Stretch your legs with a stroll through the lush and inviting gardens.

Bottles of Jaxon Keys wine and glasses rest on an outdoor patio in Mendocino County

Taste at an 1880s farmhouse at Jaxon Keys. They have a wine for everyone in your group — Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, white & red blends, Grenache, Zinfandel, Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.

Make your way south to the homie tasting room of Jaxon Keys with a sprawling porch to gaze over valleys and vines. Sniff out your favorite wine amongst a delicious variety from light Viognier to bold Primitivos. Or really brighten your spirits with a sip of one of their award-winning Brandy. Spend the night in wine country in one of their vineyard king suites or various other Mendocino lodging options.

Beyond the CORO wine trail, recharge your soul with a flight of sustainable wines sipped under the shady majesty of a redwood grove. The Nelson Family Vineyard is tucked into the woods of the family’s 2,000-acre ranch. In operation since 1951, the Nelsons also farm a variety of trees including olives and pears. The pear butter is an excellent accompaniment to any flight. 

Dive into a treasure trove of local delights at Pennyroyal Farm. Snuggle up to goats and sheep and then head over to the tasting room to chow down on their creamery cheese. In addition to the farm, the dairy and the vineyard, you’ll also find spectacular views of wine country.

For jaw-dropping ocean views, cruise over to Pacific Star Winery. Perched on top of a rugged coastal bluff,  nothing beats this stunning vista with a glass of good wine. For wisdom in a bottle, head over to Husch Vineyards. As the oldest winery in the county, this family-run business has handed down both impeccable and a commitment to sustainability.