Why we are so unique out of a sea of California wedding venues
Until you live someplace for a period of time, you don’t know it’s unique quirks and features. Such is the case with our California wedding venues.
The venues geography
Mountain House Estates is so named due to the history of the location. Although our mountain house pass elevation of 1,220 feet isn’t all that high, it is the highest mountain pass on California Highway 128 between the Alexander Valley wine area and the Mendocino Coast.
As our California wedding venue is located at this unique location, there are a number of microclimate advantages. Although we are miles away from the Pacific Ocean coast, we will get a coastal breeze on most hot afternoons that fades away at dusk. With our elevation, we are not nearly as hot as Anderson Valley (Boonville) or Ukiah, and we cool off at night.
Wine growing region
This all makes for a unique wine growing location that was recognized by the federal government in the Federal Register as the Yorkville Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area). To be granted this designation by the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, it had to be shown that the area was uniquely different than the surrounding viticultural areas of Anderson Valley, Mendocino Ridge, and Alexander Valley.
Destination California Wedding Venue
There are other interesting things about our Yorkville highland estate that made it the perfect location for a Sonoma county wedding venue. People travel from far and wide to have their destination highlands wedding here at the Mountain House. Some are simply looking for a country wedding venue, where they can have a private wedding in a gated estate. Others are looking at California wedding venues with intentionally placed photo op’s for wedding photographers to use. Still others are looking for a California wine country wedding venue without the winery wedding venue price or restrictions. But truth be told, Mountain House Estate is also the home of Mountain House Winery. However, our primary focus is as a California wedding venue.
When the property was designed by Michael and Arlene Page, they used inspiration from homes they’d built as contractors throughout Sonoma County, Mendocnio County and Lake County. The Page’s liked a steep angled roof with dormers, so they built the event center as a mountain home with a rock facade – perfect for wedding pictures.
Which County is our wedding venue in?
Are we in Sonoma County, or Mendocino County? Well, that takes a bit of explanation.
California Highway 128 passes through Sonoma County and Mendocino County. The mountain house is actually physically located in Mendociono County, so our situs address according to the County, is Yorkville, California.
However, the Cloverdale US Post Office delivers our mail, and has designated our mailing address to be Cloverdale, CA 95425 – a Sonoma County address.
Not confused enough yet? Well, let’s continue. For the most part, Sonoma County numbers properties from East to West. Mendocino County numbers properties from West to East. If that’s not confusing enough, the numbers tend to increase, and decrease in unique ways due to historical changes. And, within two miles of the Mendocino/Sonoma county line, there are multiple properties with addresses between 33000 and 38000. Therefore, looking for our mailing address of 33710 Hwy 128 when traveling from Cloverdale, you will come upon addresses very close that number, but you are still several miles away from Mountain House Estate.
So at first, we tried using Mile Post 49.8 – but that’s a Mendocino County, CalTrans milepost, numbered from West to East. And you guessed it, Sonoma County, CalTrans mileposts number from East to West. Frustrating to say the least – but we’re not done.
The GPS satellite signal is provided by the United States government, and was started by the Deparment of Defense in 1973. From there, various software companies use their software in whatever device you use – iphone, Magellan, Garmin – apply their maps to the government provided signal. But the government was late to the highlands – the history of addresses here started long before 1973, and the government decided this was Hopland! Why? Likely because it was part of the Hopland Sanel Valley land grant. I can’t fault them much, we are 7 miles from Cloverdale, 8 miles from Hopland, and 9 miles from Yorkville.
For those that must have an address, we use 38000 Hwy 128. We adopted this number as when you come from Highway 101 and climb the hill, it’s the natural progression of numbers, so it’s easy to follow. But, if you put that address into a GPS device – depending on which device you have, and when it was last updated, it will take you hither and yon. Up to 10 miles in the wrong direction.
So we worked with Google, and advise all of our couples to tell their guests to use “Mountain House Estate” in their GPS devices, and it will bring them to our door. It was the only reasonable solution to a frustrating problem.
As the wedding venue is located so close to the county line, we use both counties to describe our location. If we were to say we are in Mendocino County, some people would think we’re in Ukiah, the town of Mendocino, or the town of Willits. However, we are more closely aligned with, and physically closer to the Sonoma County town of Cloverdale. So we’re sorry if we’ve confused you when we say we are a Sonoma wedding venue, but now you may understand why.
Here in the highlands
Did you know that people who live in the Yorkville Highlands are known as ‘highlanders’ or ‘highrollers’? It has nothing to do with the Scottish Highlands, or Las Vegas highrollers. It came from the horse and buggy days when men would roll their pants up (highrollers) to keep the mud off when going to the local Yorkville villge dances. Sometimes they’d get to the dance, and forget to roll their pants down. Highlanders is an easy one to figure out, we in the highlands afterall.
We even have our own neighborhood association, the Yorkville Highlands Growers and Vintners Association. It’s total 1970’s our here, neighbors helping neighbors. Community meetings, potlucks and social gatherings. We’re far enough from ‘town’ that knowing your neighbor benefits everyone.
The Anderson Valley Fire Department has used our ballroom to give community presentations on how to stay safe if a fire were to break out. They’ve toured the property and know the location of the fire hydrants and roads. The volunteers actually had a training on how to use our ponds draft fire hydrant. It was fun to watch then shoot water over 80’ across the pond.
The Yorkville Highlands Historical Society – a loosely organized group, used our ballroom to hear Marilyn Hiatt speak about being born here in 1932, and selling the property in 1972. Her family was here for over 60 years, and she and her sister Mabel “Missy” were the source of a lot of the history our website.
Having the history on the Mountain House Estate website lead to former owners Ron Lipp and Michell Turner, founders of the Mountain House Winery to contact us with the history they assembled during their ownership. Now we share that information with all of our neighbors. If you don’t know where you came from, you won’t understand where you are going.
Piece of highlands heaven
We are blessed to have found this little piece of heaven – our highland estate wedding venue. Why should you consider having a wedding in the highlands? Because Mountain House has more to offer than most other venues. Many ceremony and reception locations are to choose from and you get exclusive use of the property for your wedding.
Our mountain home is first and primarily a wedding venue. Some other California wedding venues have other businesses as their primary focus, and do weddings on the side. For instance, wineries have the public coming into the tasting room (like Napa weddings) equestrian centers have people coming to see their horses, while you are trying to have your private wedding event. Shouldn’t your wedding be the primary focus? We think so.
Come to our California Wedding Venue and get married in the highlands. Better than most Sonoma County Wedding venues and California wedding venues with our weddingsite intentionally designed and built to be better than wineries or Napa wedding venues. Don’t have the public act as wedding crashers on your special day. Our California wedding venue was designed just for you. Become an honorary highlander when you make your wedding plans at Mountain House Estates.
More Information and Proximity to Other Cities in California
- Cloverdale – 15 minutes (9 miles)
- Geyserville – 25 minutes (19 miles)
- Healdsburg – 30 minutes (27 miles)
- Ukiah – 40 minutes (25 miles)
- Santa Rosa – 45 minutes (41 miles)
- Marin – 1 hour 20 minutes (72 miles)
- Mendocino Coast – 1 hour 20 minutes (59 miles)
- East Bay – 1 hour 36 minutes (96 miles)
- Napa – 1 hour 40 minutes (70 miles)
- San Francisco – 1 hour 45 minutes (96 miles)
- North Coast – 1 hour 50 minutes (86 miles)
- Sacramento – 2 hour 20 minutes (120 miles)
- San Jose – 2 hour 30 minutes (140 miles)
- Santa Cruz – 2 hour 50 minutes (165 miles)
- Redding – 3 hours (190 miles)
- Central Valley – 3 hours 15 minutes (165 miles)
- Monterey – 3 hour 25 minutes (200 miles)
- Carmel Valley – 3 hour 30 minutes (216 miles)
- Tahoe – 4 hour 23 minutes (250 miles)
- Yosemite – 5 hours (270 miles)