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Dogpatch, Meet Boonville, the New Frontier

Photos by Erin Kunkel

Dogpatch is one of those neighborhoods, just on the outskirts of town, that feels a little like an urban wilderness. Boonville, sort of the downtown of Anderson Valley, may be the Dogpatch of Wine Country. As the openings of Piccino, Olivier’s Butchery, and Dogpatch WineWorks are making the neighborhood one of the coolest upstarts in SF, so too is Anderson Valley, in Mendocino County, the next frontier of Wine Country. In Boonville, lauded vintners Duckhorn and Cliff Lede have been making wine for a few years now (at Breggo and Goldeneye, respectively), and tasting rooms are popping up.

Like the vintners, butchers, and chefs in Dogpatch, Boonville does its own thing. There’s not much happening here on a daily basis—and that’s part of the appeal. While Boonville Hotel is the only one worth staying at, VRBOs (vacation rentals by owner) are scattered across the valley and provide more indie sanctuary (tip: look for one with a decent grill). Boonville Hotel, though, is still your best bet for dinner. Expect a family-style prix-fixe meal à la Ad Hoc in Yountville. Meals might include beer-braised short ribs or local salmon with favas and morels. The hotel is also host to a Saturday morning farmers market. Pick up some local meat, veggies, and olive oil for a feast back at the house.

For drinks, the Anderson Valley Brewing Company is a must for growlers of taproom-exclusive beer like the bafflingly complex barrel-aged sour stout. Listen to locals discuss the finer points of disc golf, and then check out the hops growing around the property. If the disc golf chatter sparks your curiosity, get a game going: The brewery also includes one of Northern California’s premiere 18-hole courses, which is on the Professional Disc Golf Association circuit (true story).

The coffee and sweets shop Paysanne may be too cute for its own good, but their affogato made with Three Twins ice cream is no joke. In the summer, homemade popsicles are a must. On your way to Roederer for some bubbly, stop at Libby’s Restaurant (707-895-2646), a Mexican spot in Philo (near Roederer) that has been filling local winemakers with carnitas tacos for years.

This article was published in 7x7's July/August issue. Click here to subscribe.