Mendocino Wines, Whales and Wonderful Crab


MendocinoDid you have a whale of a time over the holidays? Want to continue that fun feeling of lazy days and cozy evenings into the New Year? May we suggest turning your internal compass due North, head slightly West and indulge yourself in the absolute magic of the Mendocino coast.

Your destination is The Little River Inn, a magical place any time of year, but during the balmy calm of January or the romantic depths of February, an ideal place to spend a couple of days gazing at the beautiful ocean in search of whale spouts. There’s also golf, a full service spa, tennis and so much more. Did we mention it’s also crab season?

MendocinoSo much goodness should not go unclaimed. The fifth generation owner of The Little River Inn, Innkeeper Cally Coombs Dym and her husband, Executive Chef Marc Dym, along with all their happy staff, will welcome you to a wonderfully relaxing time at their splendid seacoast resort that has been welcoming visitor for 75 years.

This town was a robust shipping port in the 1850s, when millions of board feet of lumber were loaded onto ships that sailed around the world. Lumber mill owner, Silas Coombs, built a grand Victorian home which became the Little River Inn when Cora Coombs, Silas’ granddaughter, and her husband Ole Hervilla, opened for business in 1939. Ole’s Whale Watch Bar is a great place to toast the sunset with a fabulous cocktail expertly whipped up by the bar staff.

Everything about this exceedingly charming property been nicely updated to meet modern requirements, making it comfortable, relaxing and elegant.

The fireplace rooms with porches or balconies are the ideal way to experience this charming and restful spot, where you can indulge in a custom-cooked breakfast delivered to your room, or make your way to the dining room, if you’re feeling social.

Little River Crab Feed, January 30

If you’re feeling crabby, we’ve got just the event for you: The Little River Crab Feed on Jan 30, from 6 til 9 p.m. For just $50 per person, you can don your bibs and get crackin’ on some fine crab donated by the Noyo Fish Company.

This crab feed benefits MUSE for the enrichment of the educational experiences of students in the Mendocino Unified School District. Reservations required.

February 7 & 8, 10th annual Alsace Festival: Anderson Valley

MendocinoShould you be in need of a palate refresher, there’s nothing more zesty than the aromatic whites and sparklers poured annually at the Alsace Festival in Anderson Valley. Taste Alsace style white wines from around the world, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat, and enjoy them with foods perfectly suited for aromatic whites including Tomales Bay oysters, Tart Flambee and more. Little River Inn’s Executive Chef Marc Dym will be one the Chef’s participating by serving a creation that will highlight why so many foods pair beautifully with these wines.

There are educational seminars, wine dinners, a grand tasting on Saturday, February 7th from 1 – 4 pm., and winery open houses on Sunday, February 8th. Wineries pouring at the festival, which takes place at the Fairgrounds in Boonville, include: Balo, Barra, Brooks, Castella di Amorosa, Claiborne & Churchill, Cutruzzola Vineyards, East Coaast Wine Travel, Elke Vineyards, Foris, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Handley Cellars, Husch Vineyards, Lazy Creek Vineyards, Lula Cellars, Navarro Vineyards, New Zealand Winegrowers, Panthea, Phillips Hill, Philo Ridge Vineyards,  Robert Sinskey, Signal Ridge, Stony Hill, Tatomer, Trefethen, Domaines Schlumberger, Thomas Fogarty, Toulouse and Wines of Alsace.

The Little River Inn offers a romantic package for the Alsace Festival Weekend of February 6-8, 2015 for two that includes:

  • Two night stay in an Ocean View Fireplace Room.
  • Tickets for two to the Alsace Varietals Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, February 7.
  • Complimentary Bottle of an Alsace-style wine donated by the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association. 

Laura Ness’s trip was sponsored by Chalkboard Communications, Anderson Valley Winegrower’s and Little River Inn.


Laura NessLaura Ness, aka “Her VineNess,” is an accomplished wine journalist and wine critic whose passion for wine was ignited by a visit to France, where she had the unmatched pleasure of tasting Sancerre in the medieval town of Sancerre – splendid!— and then a Saumur, after visiting the Chateau de Saumur in Chinon. The concept of terroir came alive in those incandescent moments. She regularly judges wine competitions and serves on the tasting panels of the Pinot, Cabernet and Chardonnay Shootouts. She was instrumental in helping define the unique sub-regions of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in concert with Appellation America. You can usually find her sipping and smiling in Mendocino, Livermore, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles. Laura writes extensively for many industry and consumer publications, and has weekly wine columns in several Bay Area newspapers. She blogs, irreverently and sporadically, at

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