Okay, I have a dog sitter, house sitter, and covered all the bases! I’m off to Mendocino wine country early Wednesday morning for a three-day press tour.

I’ll be making my second press visit to California in less than six months. The Mendocino area, geographically at least, sits to the northwest of Sonoma out to the Pacific Ocean.

I’m told it’s one of the most beautiful areas of California with natural Red Wood forests and of course the ocean. The area is loaded with wineries – some familar and some not.

We are scheduled to visit, or have wine poured by: Parducci, MacNab Ridge, Jeriko Estate and Winery, Testa Tines, Frey Vineyards, Cesar Toxqui Cellars, Saracina, Nelson Family Vineyards, Maple Creek Winery, Toulouse Vineyards, Claudia Springs Winery, and Pacific Star Winery.

Our home base will be in Ukiah, Ca., Wednesday night and Thursday. We’ll head to the coast Friday for two nights in a beautiful inn with ocean views. Then one of the real highlights of the trip is a day long visit to Mendocino Coast Clinics’ 12th Annual Crab Cake Cook-Off & Wine Tasting. We have a couple of hours in afternoon to explore Fort Bragg before heading to Marefino, a dinner and wine tasting, at Barra of Mendocino, just south of Fort Bragg.

The trip is sponsored by the Mendocino Winegrape & Wine Commission.

I’ll be blogging here each night, Tweeting throughout the day and doing updates on Facebook.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com