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Healdsburg area winery rec's [moved from Wine board]

tlegray Oct 5, 2007 12:59 PM

Will be in Healdsburg at the end of the month. Will have only 1 whole day to visit the wineries in the area. I'm partial to red wines. If you only had 1 day in this area which wineries would you visit?

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  1. oolah RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 01:20 PM

    You didn't saw what kind or style of red wine, but here are notes from my recent trip, and a handy map with some wineries. The google map may be especially helpful to you since it has addresses and hours for the tasting rooms.

    In the healdsburg area, my favorites were frick, rafanelli and unti. Have a great trip!

    1. jason carey RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 01:47 PM

      Hook and Ladder are super friendly..

      1. d
        DavidT RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 01:59 PM

        Take Dry Creek Road west out of Healdsburg. It is a beautiful valley full of smaller wineries, most either independent and/or family-owned. You will NOT see many tour buses out that way!

        Check out:


        1. k
          karianne RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 03:15 PM

          I second taking the Dry Creek Road. In town, pop into the Toad Hollow tasting room. Also, if you're planning on a meal, I would recommend Willis Seafood. They have good oysters and a fantastic lime cocktail. I'm blanking on the name (most likely because I each time I'm there, I drink too many).

          Enjoy your visit.

          1. t
            tlegray RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 03:46 PM

            My newest favorite wine is Franciscan Oakville Magnificat...in case you are familiar.....but I'm willing to try most anything. I find I'm partial to wines that aren't too sweet.

            I'm almost embarrassed to admit it but I'm not sure what you mean by style. This evening we're drinking a barbera. In the cabinet we have nebiolo, rosso di montalcino, cabernet, cab/syrah blend, and a pouilly fuisse (white, for my non red drinking friends but I like it too). We could also have chiant or merlot or most anything red at anytime.

            So I would like to sample some reds but I'm not against sampling other notable wines either.

            Thank you all for the winery rec's. There are allot of wineries in the area so it helps to have others narrow the choices down for me.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tlegray
              DavidT RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 03:56 PM

              Dry Creek, Rafanelli, Preston & Pedroncelli are 4 of the oldest wineries out along Dry Creek Road. They all make a good zindandel.

              1. re: DavidT
                mchan02 RE: DavidT Oct 7, 2007 08:19 PM

                Right near those is Bella, one of my favorites. Good zins and syrahs, and a delicious late harvest zin dessert wine. Very friendly service.

              2. re: tlegray
                oolah RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 04:01 PM

                If you like those kinds of wines, you'll probably like Unti. You'll need an appointment, but it's easy to make one -- just give them a ring. It's run by an Italian-American Family and they follow a lot of the winemaking traditions of the old country. It's about 10-15 min outside of Healdsburg.


              3. t
                tlegray RE: tlegray Oct 5, 2007 03:51 PM

                Just as a side note I did try to research and I never saw oolah's post. Why? because I was too specific in my search. I used Healdsburg, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valley for my search. I will not have the time to go to Sonoma so never thought to use that as a search option. Thank you for the link oolah.

                1. l
                  linz RE: tlegray Oct 7, 2007 03:51 PM

                  Some thorough searching on this board will net you a ton of good ideas, but my off the cuff list is, in downtown Healdsburg: Toad Hollow, Thumbprint, Williamson. And on Dry Creek or West Dry Creek Road: David Coffaro, Mauritson, Rued, Pappapietro Perry (and there's a small collection of 5 wineries BEHIND Pappapietro that has some good wines, notable Dashe), A. Rafanelli (call NOW for reservations), Bella.

                  1. d
                    Doodleboomer RE: tlegray Oct 9, 2007 12:02 AM

                    Bella Winery has the most amazing caves, great zins and such, a picnic area where they provide the blankets, food pairings, and sometimes live entertainment ( acoustic guitar...) I would so go there over anywhere else. they are wonderful and amazing and great...the wine, too!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Doodleboomer
                      fyoulady RE: Doodleboomer Oct 9, 2007 10:57 AM

                      Ditto on this, and you HAVE to go to Hop Kiln

                      1. re: fyoulady
                        oolah RE: fyoulady Oct 9, 2007 11:45 AM

                        I wasn't impressed by Hop Kiln's wines. Except for the thousand flowers white blend (which was ok, but overpriced), I found their other wines mediocre at best. Their Sauvigon Blanc was the worst of the bunch and really just an awful mess of muddled flavors.

                        I was also horrified that the pourers were pairing chocolate sauce with their red wines, further perpetuating the myth that chocolate and red wine go together. ick! They did have some tasty mustard for sale, but overall this place falls more into the theme park category than a winery.

                        I would definitely second someone else's post further up to make an appointment at Rafanelli. Really delicious zinfandel that's all cherry with a pepper kick at the end.

                        Another good place to visit that I forgot to mention is Ramey. They make a really spectacular chardonnay and delicious red blends. You'll need an appointment there too.

                    2. tvham RE: tlegray Oct 9, 2007 03:17 PM

                      Wow, this is a timely post...I'm heading to Healdsburg on Saturday!
                      Here's my itinerary so far:

                      Breakfast at Bovolo
                      Tasting at A. Rafanelli
                      Tasting at F. Teldeschi (or other winery TBD)
                      Picnic lunch at Dry Creek Vineyard (any input? is Lambert Bridge a better spot?)
                      Tasting at Unti
                      Tasting at Ridge (TBD)
                      Tasting/Bocce Ball at Seghesio
                      Dinner at Willi's Seafood

                      Any other suggestions/changes would be welcome!

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