Returning to Healdsburg area...
4 foodies (2 chicago/2 NYC) are making a return trip to the area (windsor). Last year in Sept we dined at: Farmhouse and Santi for dinner; John Ask for lunch, picnic at Preston for lunch, and Windsor farmer market. what are other must dos? I had thought cyrus last year, but thought that it was too much like many rests in NYC/Chi atmosphere wise. We want something more local, reminiscent of wine country, i.e. dining at farms, vineyards, pretty gardens, etc. any thoughts for some great dinners/lunches? price not impt. do you think zazu is worth the drive? or one in Napa we must do? how about great wine dinners?
As for vineyards: last time, we went to: Jordan, Bella (which we loved), Preston, Ridge, J, Papapietro Perry, Michel-Schlumberger, Lynmar, Hook & Ladder, Arista, DeLoach. We love pinot noir and buy Rochioli a lot at home and G. Farrell. We are looking for some off the beaten path vineyards, smaller production, family owed with fabulous wines. we actually love all diff types of reds but esp. love pinot. any suggestions? also want some fun food pairings or interesting tours, i.e. the twilight tour of ladera, siduri with food and wine pairings. should we do silverado trail in Napa? Any thoughts are really appreciated!
Lastly, we did the horseback riding in the redwoods, drive to jenner but may have to go back that way for Peay. Any other interesting must dos?
sorry for all the qs! thank you so much for the help!
you've gotten some good wineries, but i would say to get a reservation at rafanelli and you can't go wrong if you just head down west dry creek road. if you want low key, don't do silverado trail. you'll pay a lot more for tastings. there's so much in healdsburg area. why not just picnic at a winery with some supplies from the oakville grocery?
Zazu is great. Gourmet Northern Italian / CA super-casual roadhouse. What Sonoma is all about. Mirepoix is kinda more classic French but very nice. Price not important? Well, there is always French Launry. But in a sane world, I really think Martini House in Napa is very good. And also sorta classic. Long drive, though.
Merry-Edwards, Rivers-Marie, Kosta Brown, Kutch, August West, Freeman are all great tiny Pinot Houses worthy of an appointment.
I love the picnic area at Passalacqua, in Dry Creek Valley, because you can have your own little comfortable table with view. I've heard that picnicing at Sbragia offers a great view, but i haven't been there since it was owned by Lake Sonoma winery.
Did you say you're thinking about Ladera, or have already done it? It's pretty far, but certainly off the beaten track, and a nice tour. They have a picnic area too.
Ravenous is a great place off the Healdsburg Square. the food is rustic and the menu changes nightly.
As far as wineries are concerned; Joseph Swan is a must as well as Iron Horse.