FALL MAY BE MELLOW, and winter is crisp, and summer? It has a sultry spirit, especially when July and August reach their mercury-testing peaks. But May and June form the fizziest stretch of the year, a tantalizing time when the air is warm-meets-cool, our mood is bubblier, and the sprightly spring in our step? Describing it as "effervescent" feels fanciful but accurate. It is, in short, the moment on the calendar that's ripe for a sparkling glass of something fine and flavorful, a beautifully crafted cuvée or perfectly pink rosé. California is home to many excellent producers in this realm, the effervescence experts and wine-perfecting pros who know how to summon a vibrant variety of bubbly beverages.
MENDOCINO COUNTY... is home to over two dozen places that excel in this area, and a new Sparkling Wine Trek is giving visitors the tempting opportunity to visit some or all of them. Hopland, Ukiah, and other charming towns are stops on the map (yep, it's on the trek's site, so handy), while information on various vineyards gives roam-arounders the informative backstories they seek. Handley Cellars in Philo boasts a whimsical water tower, a perfect spot for a few post-sip pictures, while the family-helmed Navarro Vineyards has a tasting room, pretty places to picnic, and plenty of Anderson Valley cred (it goes way back in the area).
AS FOR OTHER BUBBLES? The trek has quirky suggestions for non-quaffable stops, like Vichy Springs Resort & Inn, where mineral baths provide fizz-tastic sensations. For all of the superb picks, trek by the Sparkling Wine Trek site now, and get the effervescent inspiration for your next Mendo idyll.