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Healdsburg Wineries and Nearby Restaurants-Suggestions?

  • afunk Apr 25, 2009 06:49 PM

I'm going to be staying in Healdsburg for two days during June. We're first time wine country visitors so we're sticking with Sonoma because we have such a short time there. We want to make the most of our trip...If anyone know of any wineries that give great tours or the wine is excellent, grounds are gorgeous I'd love to know more. As far as restaurant's go I'm looking for moderately priced places..right now I'm thinking Barndiva and Willie's Seafood and Raw Bar. Any help would be great.

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  1. This is a frequent request with some recent posts so you might scroll through the board. Search has been having some bugs, but you might give it a try.

    Another approach is to search through this list of restaurants, wineries, etc in this site's database for the city of Healdsburg. If you click on a restaurant name you will come up with a Place record. There is usually a website and linked reports from this board.
    http://www.chow.com/search?Search.x=1...

    Some tasty places to look at for breakfast, lunch, snacks and/or dinner are Downtown Bakery and Creamery, Bovolo, Cyrus, Zin, Flying Goat Coffee, Scopa, Cafe Gratitude (for some California silliness), Ravenous, Santi

    If you are here on Saturday morning definately plan on stopping by the Saturday morning farmers market. Not only is it some of the best California grow, but there are many top-notch prepared food vendors. Great place for breakfast or early lunch eats.

    I'm not someone with lots of wine experience, but I've always enjoyed Preston. It is a small personal winery and they have some excellent bread that they make on premisis.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      Thanks so much for your suggestions; I did hear Preston was good, and the fact that they have fresh baked bread makes it even better. I'll definitely be going there. Bovolo has some appeal also. Thanks =)

    2. My favorite winery to taste at in Sonoma is Merry Edwards. I also encourage int he strongest possible way, that you taste at Siduri/Novy. Hartford is also great, though they charge a tasting fee these days.

      In Heldsburg, itself, go to Rosenblum and Davis.

      My favorite moderately priced restaurants in the area are Zazu in the Russian River Valley and Zin in Healdsburg, itself.

      3 Replies
      1. re: whiner

        Siduri seems to be one of, if not the most, polarizing amongst the RRV area fans on this board. Have you found certain offerings to be much superior to others? TIA, always enjoy your informative posts.

        1. re: PolarBear

          I really like the Pisoni Pinot and the Novy Viognier...

          Look, Siduri is what it is. If you are expecting your Pinot to taste like Pinot, it isn't really the winery for you. If you know it is going to taste like Syrah ahead of time, I think it is incrediblyenjoyable... my favorite of the 'Pinot-as-Syrah' producers. (Loring, ROAR, Sea Smoke, etc being the others)

          1. re: whiner

            I'm a fan of Roar, and a few of the Lorings as well. Was disappointed somewhat with the latest releasea of Sea Smoke that they were pouring at WOPN in March.

      2. You didn't mention what kind of wine you are looking for.

        Healdsburg itself has plenty of tasting rooms you could walk to. I'd recommend Davis Family which has great Pinot and Syrah, as well as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc they make.

        Then you can either head down Westside Road along the Russian River, or head up Dry Creek Road to Dry Creek Valley, with more zin and syrah. Some smaller producers in Dry Creek worth stopping in is Unti (good syrah, grenache, zin), Dry Creek Vineyards (good values), Tedeschi (old vine zin). Bella is about as far up as you can go on West Dry Creek road, but if you make the trip they have great picnic grounds and big jammy zins in their caves.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Bryan Gros

          Well, I am a partial to Zins or Syrahs, and I think my mom is also. However, if I'm doing whites-I prefer a chardonnay or a riesling? I was definitely thinking Bella for the cave tours; It seems like Unti is a popular choice, but when I went to the website they were only open for tasting by appointment? I've never tried their wines before...is it considered a rule to buy their wines if you set up an appointment? Any opinions on Ferrari Carrano...I hear the gardens are amazing?
          Right now my bike tour is a 30 mile route starting off with: Dry Creek, Zichichi, Preston, Bella, and then finish with Ferrari Carano---I'm guessing 5 wineries on a bike is about all we can handle. Any thoughts about my picks?

          1. re: afunk

            I love unti, particularly I *love* their petite syrah. When I went to Unti at the very end of December, I didn't have a reservation and it was no problem.

            I also second Preston, and love their J. Preston red.

            1. re: afunk

              Don't go to F-C, their wines are one-dimensional, over-priced and flabby; plus the grounds are really tacky. For good Zin, Yoakim Bridge and Mauritson are two of my favorites. Bella is nice (but a bit price). Preston has some great wines and beautiful grounds.

              Also, I would not go to Willies -- it just isn't that special. Ralph's or Ravenous are much better. For a splurge, the Farmhouse Inn in forestville is excellent.

              I think that 5 wineries will be plenty on a bike. Be sure have plenty of water. There is a country store in the middle of dry creek (Lambert Bridge Road and Dry Creek Road) that has excellent sandwiches etc.

              1. re: SFDude

                I just returned from a trip out to Sonoma/Napa. We spent a few days in Healdsburg, and as for Zin-oriented places, we really liked Bella, Preston and Ridge. If you go to Preston on a Sunday, be sure to do the barrel/jug tasting. That was really fun! One other personal favorite as well is Wilson. You don't need reservations at any of these places which may be helpful if you are biking. Every place but Preston pours pretty generously, so you might want to share tastings if you are going to bike. Those zins can be pretty powerful!

                For a relaxed and reasonably priced dinner, we really enjoyed Scopa. Make a reservation though - we went on a Monday night and they were turning people away.