If you love visiting wine country but are tired of the usual crowds and commercialism, you should consider paying Northern California's Anderson Valley wine region a visit. Situated in the uppermost western corner of the state in iconic Mendicino County, the Anderson Valley isn't your typical California wine region. Here's what visitors of Anderson Valley wineries can expect to enjoy:

1. You'll Be in Redwood Country 

Few natural wonders are more compelling sights than the redwood trees of the Northern California coast. Along with visiting the area's wineries, you'll be able to explore the pristine wilderness provided by these ancient forests. During the months between April and October, you may be able to see whales in the ocean from the shore. If you're a bird watching enthusiast, you'll be glad to know that this area features a wide variety of both migratory and stationary bird species. 

2. You'll See Rugged Natural Beauty

Redwoods aren't the only magnificent representations of the natural world that you'll experience when visiting Mendicino County. You'll also have the chance to see some of the most dramatic coastlines on the planet -- and unlike their counterparts in the southern and central part of the state, most beaches in Mendicino County are far from crowded. 

3. You'll Beat the Heat

The cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean means moderate weather in Mendicino County most of the time, which means that you'll be able to enjoy your visit in a more comfortable environment than if you were visiting wine country located inland or farther south. It's also common to wake up in the morning to the sight of mysteriously beautiful silvery fog that generally burns away by mid-morning during the spring and summer months. 

4. You'll Be Introduced to Fabulous Cool-Season Wines 

The same rich soils that support the dense forests of towering trees grow vigorous and healthy grapevines -- and because Anderson Valley growing conditions are nearly ideal, grape vines often don't need added pesticides and herbicides, meaning that most of the wines you'll enjoy will be organically grown. This area is also ideal for the production of cool-season grapes such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. As an added benefit, corporate wineries are the exception rather than the rule in the Anderson Valley, so it's very likely that the person who's doing the pouring in the tasting room is the owner of the winery who will be glad to tell you the personal story of the wine that you're enjoying.