The Fungi Never Stops

Mushroom madness in Mendocino County

Northern California's Mendocino County is known for its excellent wines, but the region's terroir is also found in its most famous natural wonder: the 500 species of edible mushrooms that poke out of the soil each fall.

For a fortnight during the Mendocino Wine & Mushroom Festival (November 6-15), local mushrooms will be served at just about every area restaurant, hotel and winery. Here, a few of our favorite ways to go shroomin':

• Get your umami fix at Yorkville Cellar's Mushrooms and Malbec event ($10), where you can sample older vintages and new releases paired with fungi-inspired appetizers (chanterelle quiche, pork-and-pumpkin-porcini casserole) made by proprietor Deborah Wallo. Nov. 7 and 8, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; yorkvillecellars.com

• Eating on-the-go isn't so bad when you're chugging through ancient Redwood groves on a vintage Skunk Train while dining on chanterelle fettuccini and drinking local wines. Mushroom expert and chef Jack Czarnecki (from Oregon's Joel Palmer House) hosts a benefit lunch on Nov. 7 ($125) and teams with mycologist Eric Schramm to teach guests how to forage for their own mushrooms. Nov. 7, 10 a.m.; 707-459-3047 or howardfoundation.com

• Follow Highway 1 down the coast for a Champagne & Mushroom Brunch (free for guests; $25 for visitors) at the Elk Cove Inn & Spa, where owner Elaine Bryant will whip up sausage-stuffed mushrooms and mushroom omelets alongside wines from the Anderson Valley's Navarro Vineyards. Nov. 7, 8, 14 and 15, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; elkcoveinn.com

• Glendeven Inn's John Dixon and his officious pet llama, Big Sue, really know how to host a feast at their 19th-century farmhouse in Little River. Their lavish mushroom-themed dinners ($65; $90 with wine pairings) kick off with profiteroles stuffed with smoked velvet pioppini mushrooms, followed by a morel flan and porcini manicotti wrapped in black-chanterelle pasta. Nov. 10 and 14; glendeven.com