HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Russian River Valley Recommendations

dis1010 Oct 20, 2006 06:01 PM

Hi all,

I'm taking a trip up to the Russian River Valley on Tuesday. Looking for recommendations for:

1) Lunch (nothing fancy: maybe sandwiches, salads?)

2) Any wineries you'd recommend visiting. I have an appointment at Siduri. Have been to a number up there that I've liked. But I'll take any suggestions. Pinot and Zin are my favorites.

Thanks all!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. d
    DavidT RE: dis1010 Oct 20, 2006 06:33 PM

    I would recommend doing searches for Russian River, Guerneville & Duncan Mills. You will find many helpful prior posts & suggestions already here for you.

    1. p
      Pavement2112 RE: dis1010 Oct 20, 2006 07:53 PM

      I'll recommend Iron Horse just south of the Russian River. They have some excellent single vineyard Pinots, as well as great champagne. The winery itself is on a hill, and the vibe is casual. Their harvest parts was a lot of fun.

      Graton is south of Iron Horse and has a cutesy upscale diner/polenta place in the middle of the one block that is downtown. Pretty good polenta there....

      1 Reply
      1. re: Pavement2112
        Jeff RE: Pavement2112 Oct 20, 2006 08:04 PM

        The "cutesy upscale diner/polenta place" is the Willow Wood Market Cafe. Polenta is indeed good.


      2. f
        fine wino RE: dis1010 Oct 20, 2006 08:11 PM

        Wilson, Unti, Nalle, Bella, Gopfrich! All outstanding, family run wineries. You must check out Wilson and Bella for the big, beautiful zin! I like Nalle's zin too but they may already be sold out. Unti does some interesting Italian varietals as well - absolutely top notch. Gopfrich is literally a one man show and he is a sweet guy with some wonderful wine. Hopefully his Cab is ready. Seriously "Napa quality" cab with a few gold medals to prove it (surprisingly inexpensive around 40.00). All but Wilson and Bella will require a res. Though I've walked in to all of them on a Saturday.

        This is where is go in Sonoma and I don't think there's much pinot in that area given the hot climate. I love to hear where other people find their Sonoma pinot though. I'm headed that way at Thanksgiving.

        1. m
          mbaldauf RE: dis1010 Oct 20, 2006 10:36 PM

          Bovolo in Healdsburg for lunch - great for to-go picnic-style to eat in one of the vineyards. chef/owner is of zazu in Santa Rosa - he makes his own bacon, charcuterie, etc. - take a look at my yelp writeup if you'd like:


          3 Replies
          1. re: mbaldauf
            fine wino RE: mbaldauf Oct 20, 2006 11:01 PM

            I second Bovolo! I ate there when I visited just so you know that dine in is an option. Went for lunch and had a delish prosciutto sandwich and then went back for breakfast the next day. Really great home made granola with local yogurt and honey.

            Though a picnic at Preston would be nice and it's near all the places I recommend above. It's a neat place to check out and the guy at the tasting room, Robert (white hair and beard), is the nicest guy. If you do a search for Preston, you'll find more info.

            1. re: fine wino
              Melanie Wong RE: fine wino Oct 21, 2006 02:00 AM

              That would be LOU Preston...though sometimes he introduced himself as Luigi (to fit into the neighborhood).

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                fine wino RE: Melanie Wong Oct 24, 2006 06:41 PM

                I've never met Lou there. The guy who's at the tasting room every time I've been is definitely named Robert. Maybe they both have white hair and beards?

          2. d
            dis1010 RE: dis1010 Oct 20, 2006 10:52 PM

            Thank you for all the suggestions. I really appreciate it.

            Show Hidden Posts