Healdsburg, CA: Wine Tasting 101

CONFESSION: I BOUGHT A WINE FRIDGE. ALL BECAUSE OF HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA. FOR TWO YEARS EACH FREE WEEKEND (OR WEEKDAY) I SCURRIED UP TO HEALDSBURG WHERE BY SOUL WAS AT PEACE. WHAT A MAGICAL PLACE. THE PEOPLE, THE ATMOSPHERE, THE WINE. BELOW YOU WILL FIND MY REVIEWS ON THE MOST HAPPENING PLACES IN HEALDSBURG (Sonoma county). — CALL ME BEFORE YOU GO THOUGH BECAUSE I WILL PERSONALLY ITEMIZE AN ITINERARY FOR YOU (NOT JOKING).

IN HEALDSBURG TOWN SQUARE:

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★★★★★

I can not put into words how much I love this place. It was my very first tasting room visit in Healdsburg and boy did it set the bar. The wine they produce is consistently delicious and enjoyed by anyone, the staff is incredible and the atmosphere is clean and unique. Their Pinot Noir’s are out of this world. Into dry Gewurztraminer? Dry Riesling? THEY HAVE IT - AND IT’S BOMB. All my love to Tara, Serena, Kiley, Ericka and the team - I am forever a wine club member. — WEBSITE

Williamson Wines

★★★★★

Simply put, it’s a Healdsburg staple. They have reinvented the tasting experience to focus on the wholistic experience, and it’s awesome. Everyone I have interacted with on their staff is friendly and knowledgeable. TJ is an absolute gem - thank you, TJ for always taking such good care of us! I love their GSM, which is a rare find, and their Sauvignon Blanc is delicious! Did I mention all tastings are paired with cheese topped with jams and salts?! THAT’S RIGHT. Free food and wine! Say it with me: If it’s for free, it’s for me! — WEBSITE

Lioco

★★★★★

Can the designer of this tasting room please stand up? I need their number for my home. Seriously the best vibes (Banshee a close second). As the new kid on the block they’ve made quite a splash… enough to get me to sign up for the wine club (sry Danny). Their wines are different from the rest which is really refreshing. Highly recommend their 2017 La Selva Pinot Noir + their Valdiguie - delicioso! P.S. make sure to say hi to Liz - we’re connected by the six degrees of separation - enter: Isabella Mulinksi (xo) WEBSITE

Seghesio

★★★★★

I love this tasting room and property. They have a wonderful outdoor space for picnicking or spending time in the sun. Grab one of their famous Zinfandels and enjoy! They have a friendly staff, and a flight option that will make you fall in love with Zins if you’re not sure how you feel about them yet. They are also one of the first to open (10:30am) so if you’re ready for a early start, Seghesio it is! Try Danny’s favorite: 2016 Rockpile Zin. — WEBSITE

Flight Deck

★★★★★

Bless this staff. Somehow this ends up being our last stop after A LONG day, and they are so kind with us. This tasting room is incredible because they serve all different brands and styles of wine. Their flights are a mix of what’s popular and new. They have great bar snacks to accompany your flight as well - big perk. Jojo and I got a bottle of Rose here and parked ourselves in the park one summer night for the town concert - it was a dream. — WEBSITE

Banshee

★★★★☆

Cool atmosphere. Seems to be busy often so I would recommend a reservation. Their Pinot Noirs are great, and the tasting is well rounded. This is a cozy place to grab a glass and stay for a while. — WEBSITE

Siduri

★★★★☆

A really fun spot! Their staff is great and their Pinot Noirs plentiful. They source grapes from Oregon to Santa Barbara, so if you’re looking for differentiation, this is your spot. Definitely recommended. — WEBSITE

Lurton

★★★★☆

A wonderful choice for your French style fix. The staff is very knowledgable on the French regions and styles they offer and it is a refreshing change from all of the Pinot Noirs you’ll be drinking. They also share this tasting room with Sanglier, so it’s a great place to double dip as well! — WEBSITE

Idlewild

★★★★☆

Ciao! This is an Italian stop! They have a great selection of Italian varietals and offer cheese and charcuterie plates as well. We had a wonderful experience with our tasting room host here and would highly recommend to anyone interested in the Italian style! — WEBSITE

Rockpile

★★★☆☆

It’s a newer tasting room but has a great atmosphere. Cool vibes and cool people. Stop in if you have some time. — WEBSITE

Hartford Family Winery

★☆☆☆☆

Expensive, not that delicious, not that friendly and not so nice - you can skip this one. Plus no bathroom - Reagan Rylee was not impressed. You’re welcome for the time back in your adventure. — WEBSITE

WINERIES + VINEYARDS OF HEALDSBURG:

Bella

★★★★★

YES! They do things right. First things first, your tasting begins in the wine cave where they pour unique Zinfindels and cap the tasting with a port + chocolate pairing. (Danny - biigg Port guy). Once you’re hooked on the atmosphere and the wine, go find Lucy (THE G.O.A.T.) and tell her you’d like to book an Ultimate Tour. This tour is the absolute best. Sry to Christina and Dan who hadn’t been to a vineyard yet and we introduced them with this winery + tour, not all of them are this good ;) On the real, Dylan took us on the Ultimate Tour which is a property excursion in a vintage Land Cruiser while siping on their reserve wines - what’s beter?! I’ll wait… — WEBSITE

MoniClaire

★★★★★

AUNT MARY. The legend who brings this place to life. Madeline took us to MoniClaire at the tail end our January girl’s trip (her aunt and uncle own the property and winery). This place is STUNNING. The view are majestic, the cats and chickens and birds and nature - phew - it’s something you have to see to experience. The best kept secret is that you can STAY OVERNIGHT HERE. You heard me. Check it out on Airbnb HERE - best thing Christina + I ever did! **note: they only do tastings by reservation, so get Aunt Mary on the phone! — WEBSITE

Preston Farm + Winery

★★★★★

Very cute farm and winery. The staff is lovely and the wine delicious. There’s plenty of space to picnic and hangout in the sun. Definitely recommend! — WEBSITE

Twomey

★★★★☆

This is a great tasting room with an awesome view. The tasting is different which is refreshing and their Pinot Noirs are unique. The winery gifts you a wine glass and tote at the end of your tasting … nice touch. — WEBSITE

A FEW HONORABLE MENTIONS (not wine):

  1. Stop at Oliver’s Market for a sandwich please on your way up.

    @hannahflint’s life mission is to education people on the deliciousness of their food so helping a friend out here. - HERE

  2. If you’re interested in drinking adult beverages that are not wine:

    a. Healdsburg Bar and Grill - great when there’s a game on or you are craving a beer and American bar food. S/o to the greatest boyfriend who ventured to Healdsburg even when the Red Sox and Bruins were on…he found his way to HBG shortly after the games begun. - HERE

    b. Dukes. meh. NOT A SHOT BAR. Do not come here if you’re looking to get wild - save that for option C below. Dukes is a trendy place where you can have pricier small drinks and take photos for Instagram. Right, Madeline? - HERE

    c. JOHN & ZEKES. Now this place is a shot bar. They accept you as you come, and we love them for it (ask about Davy Crockett’s bar appearances next time we chat). - HERE

  3. Also, food related - if you’re headed to the vineyards the Dry Creek General Store is a must stop. - HERE

TO EVERYONE I DRAGGED ALONG WITH ME - THANK YOU. IT’S MORE FUN TO DRINK WITH FRIENDS. AND TO DANNY, THANK YOU FOR PUTTING UP WITH THE ENDLESS WINE CLUB SHIPMENTS AND LEARNING TO LOVE THE SWEET BERRY GRAPES AS MUCH AS I DO. ILYSM.

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