Redwoods Vacation: Northern California Wineries in Humboldt County

5 glasses of white wine on wine barrel top with barrels on either side and racks of wine bottles behindYes, there are wineries in Humboldt County! According to the Humboldt Wine Association, the county is an important part of Northern California Wine Country, with more than 150 acres of vineyards. Many of the vineyards are smaller, family owned properties. The grapes they produce vary depending on the climate and soils. Southern Humboldt‘s climate is warmer and drier, while Northern Humboldt’s climate along the Pacific tends to be cooler and more moist. In addition to locally produced grapes, some wineries also source fruit from vineyards in Mendocino, Trinity, Napa, Sonoma, and Amador appellations.

From The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna, an hour’s scenic drive up the coast will bring you to Moonstone Crossing Tasting Room in Trinidad, and Fieldbrook Valley Winery in Mckinleyville, CA. Another Humboldt County winery is the award winning Briceland Vineyards Winery in Redway, CA, about an hour’s drive south from The Redwood just off Route 101.

Moonstone Crossing Winery Tasting Room

Moonstone Crossing Winery has been voted Best Winery on the North Coast 2014 and Humboldt’s Best Wine Maker. Other awards include numerous medals in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, New York State International Wine Competition, and California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition. The winery sources its grapes from small, hillside vineyards in Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Amador appellations. It specializes in full-bodied, rich-flavored red varietals hand-crafted using traditional-style winemaking techniques. All red wines are aged in French and American oak, then bottle aged. The Tasting Room is open Wednesday through Sunday afternoons. The $10 tasting fee includes a choice of six wines from their large selection of about 40 varietals and unique blends.

White wines include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay (Gold Medal, Humboldt County Fair), Viognier, and both dry and sweet Rieslings. There is a Rose of Syrah, plus two sparkling roses: Brut Rose of Pinot Noir and Brut Rose’ of Nebbiolo. The current reds list 18 varietals, including award winning Nebbiolo (double gold Humboldt County Fair), Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, and Old Vine Zinfandel. The 10 red blends include a Pinot Noir, Bordeaux style, Rhone style, and Super Tuscan style. Moonstone Crossing also offers three Ports from Mendocino, Amador County, and a California blend.

Fieldbrook Valley Winery

Fieldbrook Winery, the oldest winery in Humboldt County, is family owned, and produces only 1000-2000 cases of hand-crafted wine annually. In addition to Humboldt, some its grapes come from high quality vineyards in Trinity and Mendocino counties. Sundays, Fieldbrook offers Wine Tasting and Wood-Fired Pizza from noon – 5 pm. Wine flights and glasses start at $7.00; pizza is $10.00 – $13.00 (style varies weekly). Non-alcoholic beverages are available.

White wines include Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay that earned double gold and best in class at the Humboldt County Fair. Rosato di Sangiovese, a dry rosé, was awarded gold at the SF Chronicle competition. Fieldbrook Winery produces a wide variety of red wines. Their Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Merlot, and Petit Sirah are Humboldt County, Trinity River Cuvée. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Barbara, and Rosato di Sangiovese, a dry rosé, are sourced from Mendocino vineyards.

Briceland Vineyards Winery

Briceland Vineyards, in southern Humboldt County, is known for its commitment to local terroir and hand-crafted small batch winemaking style. The winery produces only about 2,000 cases per year. Over 75% of their wine comes from Humboldt County grapes, most farmed organically in small vineyards nearby. Briceland strives to make distinctive wines “that a novice wine drinker will enjoy and a true wine geek will appreciate”, and has won awards at major competitions since their founding. The winery is open for winery tours and tastings on their patio during weekend afternoons in summer, and by appointment throughout the year. Briceland also hosts open houses on Memorial Day and Thanksgiving Weekends.

Briceland produces crisp, no-oak white wines fermented in stainless steel. They include a dry Gewurtztraminer, Arneis, their single vineyard Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, plus their famous Humboldt Brut Sparkling Wine (method champenoise). The winery is recognized for its single vineyard Pinot Noirs grown in local hillside vineyards, Red Fruited Lower Oak Style Zinfandels, and Noir d’Orleans, a newly released Bordeaux Blend. Other new releases include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from organically farmed Humboldt grapes.

Whether you are a wine affianco or novice, why not explore Humboldt County wineries on your next weekend getaway to the California Redwoods and The Redwood Riverwalk Hotel in Fortuna? Visit the Northern wineries when you explore Trinidad, Patrick’s Point or Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, or add a visit to Briceland Vineyards Winery to your visit to the Lost Coast and Shelter Cove.

Moonstone Crossing Winery Tasting Room
Location: 529 Trinity Street Trinidad, CA
Phone: 707-677-3832
Days & Hours:  Summer/Fall (June – December)                  Winter Hours: (January – May)
                         Wednesday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm                        Wednesday: 2:00 – 6:00 pm
                         Thursday: 12:00 – 7:00 pm                           Thursday: 4:00 – 7:00 pm
                         Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm   Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm
                         Monday: 12:00 – 6:00 pm (June – September)

Fieldbrook Valley Winery
Location: 4241 Fieldbrook Road Mckinleyville, CA
Phone: 707-839-4140
Days & Hours: Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00 pm only

Briceland Vineyards Winery
Location: 5959 Briceland Road, Redway, CA
Phone: 707-923-2429
Days & Hours: Summers Saturdays & Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm
                         All year by appointment

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