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small winery recs in healdsburg? alexander valley? been to dry creek

ak45 Aug 31, 2010 11:05 PM

i know lots of people ask this question, but hopefully my specifics help.

In a week in a half, my wife and I'll heading up to Healdsburg. We are going to Barndiva Friday night, and Cyrus Saturday. So, we have our dinner covered! Next decision...wineries.

We went to Dry Creek Valley 2 years ago and here's what we liked:
-Unti - loved their petite syrah
-dry creek vineyard - mariner (a great cab/merlot blend)
-preston - loved the L. Preston (rhone style blend) and the madam preston (I don't care for whites, but I liked that)

the zin at Bella was decent...but, we didn't love the winery itself. Too commercial for us.

So, yeah...we love the small wineries, and we love our big reds. Any recommendations of other wineries we should check out in the healdsburg area, based on our past experience? How is the Alexander Valley area? some friends of ours (who we trust) didn't like Stryker.

thanks in advance!

231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

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  1. a
    Allfrog68 Aug 31, 2010 11:25 PM

    I would highly recommend Seghesio. Not walking distance from the square but very close. Great zins. I went to Stryker a while back and it was a very beautiful place. I wasn't tasting, dealing w/ kids. My husband, more of the wine guy, liked the wine.

    1. Midlife Aug 31, 2010 11:45 PM

      Give Acorn a call for an appointment. This is a 100 year-old property that turns out some marvelous Zin, Syrah, and Italian varietals. The 'tasting room' is a board across a couple of barrels in an aluminum-sided grape processing area. They're just South of Healdsburg, across from J and Rodney Strong. http://www.acornwinery.com/

      Another appointment suggestion is Holdredge: http://www.holdredge.com/ John Holdredge used to live on the next property over from a friend of mine's vineyard in Santa Rosa. He moved to Healdsburg few years ago and set up shop in a nice barn-like building near the river in town.

      Have fun!!!

      There are many, many more.

      Syrah - Now Petite Syrah
      205 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

      2 Replies
      1. re: Midlife
        Cary Sep 1, 2010 12:40 AM

        Holdredge can be a fun place to visit. Just don't mention that you are a fan/alumnus/donator of Notre Dame. He also does not really make "big" wines.

        Some quirky wineries worth visiting are Coffaro and Frick. No nonsense, tasty wines for everyday drinking.

        1. re: Midlife
          celeryroot Sep 1, 2010 07:49 AM

          Benovia , Matrix, Felice to name a few of many

          So many to choose from
          You might go to Geyserville and have a light lunch at Diavolo and go to Meeker , which is a hoot. I like Lancaster but really there are so many. Hanna and deLorimier are rather nice.
          Hope you enjoy

        2. d
          DavidT Sep 1, 2010 09:39 AM

          Link to the Alexander Valley Winegrowers group:


          1. tvham Sep 1, 2010 02:19 PM

            I'm a big fan of both Unti and the L. Preston so I'll just chime in on my favorite wineries in Healdsburg overall:

            A. Rafanelli

            Also, make sure and check out Bovolo for breakfast and/or lunch and coffee at Flying Goat. Have fun!

            106 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

            1. Melanie Wong Sep 1, 2010 02:40 PM

              Here's a thread on Mercury Wine in Geyserville, Alexander Valley that you might find useful.

              Mercury Wine
              21015 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441

              1. a
                ak45 Sep 7, 2010 10:11 PM

                thanks everyone for the recs! I'll map it out, and will figure out a plan for this weekend. I'll be sure to post and let everyone know which places we visited and what we thought.


                1 Reply
                1. re: ak45
                  SFDude Sep 9, 2010 12:19 PM

                  I generally like the Dry Creek wineries better than Alexander Valley one; For a really nice non-commercial winery, try Yoakim Bridge (great zins plus other reds). Stryker is fine but I wouldn't rush over there.

                2. c
                  chilihead2006 Sep 8, 2010 10:16 PM

                  We lived on a ranch & vineyard in the Alexander Valley for 9 years. My wife ran the lab for one of the major wineries.

                  My recs would include;

                  Quivira - Zin
                  Pezzi King - Zin
                  Seghesio - Zin
                  Fieldstone does a nice Gewurz
                  Clos du Bois...good merlot
                  Stonestreet does some nice cabs
                  Silver Oak...nice cabs
                  Geyser Peak...good shiraz
                  Ferrari Carano...their sauvignon blanc grapes were grown in our "front yard"
                  Trentadue does a nice chocolate port

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chilihead2006
                    Shane Greenwood Sep 11, 2010 10:36 PM

                    Quivira makes a good Mourvèdre.

                  2. t
                    tanglenet Sep 10, 2010 09:45 AM

                    If you like the Pinot Noir grape, in the Healdsburg area, I would recommend:

                    MacPhail - http://www.macphailwine.com/

                    Papapietro Perry - http://www.papapietro-perry.com/

                    There are several small wineries at the location where Papapietro Perry is, including Family Wineries Dry Creek Valley Tasting Room, Amphora, Anthill, etc...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tanglenet
                      Cary Sep 10, 2010 02:45 PM

                      Anthill may be appointment only, but their pinots are fantastic. They are in the lighter style, away from the big, ripe style.

                      1. re: tanglenet
                        Midlife Sep 10, 2010 02:57 PM

                        From what I recall the people at Papietro-Perry got lots of help from the guys at Williams-Selyem when they started up. That's a pretty good pedigree and I've enjoyed most of their wines I've tried.

                      2. s
                        stickie pants Sep 11, 2010 02:32 AM

                        Thumbprint is really good, using gravity filtration and great care with the winemaking.
                        Rosenblum has a huge selection and good value. Nice guys.

                        1. m
                          metfan630 Sep 13, 2010 02:03 PM

                          Great plan on the dining! My wife and I had two nights in Healdsburg in August (visiting from NYC) and chose the same restaurants. Both were excellent.

                          We rented bikes and rode around to wineries in the Dry Creek Valley region.

                          Quivira was one of our favorites that you hadnt mentioned. Its also fun to walk around the front area where they grow vegetables and have chickens and a bee hive. We saw some of the produce specifically marked off for local restaurants, including Barndiva.

                          Papapiertro Perry was a favorite of ours as well (note: we love pinot noir). I would definetly recommend visiting them, also because the Dry Creek Olive Oil company is directly across from them, which was also fun to visit. We brought back a bottle of "meyer lemon olive oil" that goes great when used with seafood.

                          We also enjoyed Preston and Unti and were not that impressed by Bella.

                          For breakfast, try some pastry at Downtown Bakery and Creamery. Coffee at Flying Goat as well, as noted above.

                          Enjoy!! Healdsburg was such a beautiful place.

                          231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

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