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Mar 24, 2012 12:28 PM

Healdsburg WHITE (Winery) and Olive Oil Suggestions

My husband and I are making the East Coast to West Coast pilgrimage in early April to visit some friends in the San Francisco area. We're doing one night in Sonoma in Healdsburg proper (dinner at Cyrus).

I think we'd like to stay close to the town on day one as our friends will be driving up and back the same day since they have to work the following morning and it will be less crazy for them to stay in a rather centralized area. My husband and I will be able to meander around the next day at our own pace, so we could go a little bit farther off the beaten path.

Unfortunately, as much as I adore red wine (and red wine loves Sonoma county), it does not agree with my chronic migraines, so I would like winery suggestions that have strong white lineup. I can have SOME red wine, but very sparingly and spread out. I prefer dryer, non-sweet, and non-oakey whites. Other than that, I am not too picky about specific varietals.

We would prefer smaller, more intimate places. We certainly wouldn't be opposed to visiting some of the larger places, but as a frequent visitor to the Finger Lakes I have grown accustomed to that kind of environment.

We'd also like to visit at least a couple olive oil places, so would appreciate any favorites for that as well.

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  1. In Healdsburg:
    Capture (appt only).
    Ramey (appt only)

    Outside but not by much:

    1. Out on Dry Creek Road, the David Coffaro Winery is a fun visit to a small winery with lots of character and excellent wines. (7485 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg; (707) 433-9715;

      For olive oil, you can go out Westside Road to the tasting room for DaVero. They not only make high quality local Tuscan-style oils, but also wines. (766 Westside Road, Healdsburg;

      3 Replies
      1. re: cmvan

        Porter Creek Vineyards - Viognier
        A tiny tasting room on Westside road

          1. re: cmvan

            DaVero olive oil was been frequently mentioned by Mario Battali as his favorite, calling it "spectacular" in some interviews. DaVero wines are Italian varietals, so definitely different that the usual California chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, etc.

          2. Preston of Dry Creek is a lovely place to visit. We quite enjoy their organic, biodynamic sauvignon blanc and idyllic setting (picnic tables under shady trees, bocce ball court, and a farm store to sell foodstuffs). They also make olive oil and other whites.

            9 Replies
            1. re: rubadubgdub

              Hop Kiln's another nice place for a picnic, I think they make more whites than reds.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I'm going to have to humbly disagree about recommending Hop Kiln. Their wine has been on a roller coaster in terms of quality (yet their prices are still $30+), and right now I cannot safely recommend it.

                1. re: goldangl95

                  I defer to your more recent experience. I haven't tasted their wines in quite a while. The Thousand Flowers is only $16 at the winery.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Robert, have to ask, several decades back in Germany we had an Italian dessert wine called Mille Fiori, small branch inside the bottle with little sugar crystals (flowers) attached. Don't suppose this is anything close, even without the artwork?

                    1. re: PolarBear

                      It's not a dessert wine, used to be very floral and fruity from some Muscat and Gewürztraminer in the blend though I see the current release is different.


              2. re: rubadubgdub

                I second Preston! Really loved their "Madame Preston", a rhone-style white. As a mostly red-wine drinker, I find rhone-style whites to be my favorite white wines.

                As mentioned above, they also let you taste their house-made olive oil onsite.

                1. re: arlenemae

                  I third Preston, for both white wines and olive oil. Preston specializes in Rhone varietals, so his white wines are Roussanne and Marsanne blends, and lemme tell you, they are delicious! Especially the Madam Preston, as arlenemae suggested. Also at Preston: freshly baked bread, produce, olive oil, bocce ball and a picnic-ing area.

                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    I just found this thread. I also like Preston a lot, especially for their ambiance and "country" bread which is just delicious especially with their olive oil. But I've been disappointed in their reds the last few times I've been there. Maria, do you find any of their reds particularly good? I'd love to picnic there but don't like the reds I've tried enough to do that.

                    1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                      Just as an FYI to anyone thinking of picnicking at Preston, there are at least 4 or 5 cats who will converge upon you. I love cats so this wasn't an issue, but it's something to keep in mind . . .

              3. Davis Family Vineyards on 4th St in HBG, white Rhone, Riesling, French style chards.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ambercontegssa

                  Copain makes great wines across the board. Preston is a good choice. Dry Creek Vineyard makes a great dry Chenin Blanc and a good Fume Blank, too.

                2. Thank you so much everyone for all the suggestions! Right now I'm still trying to get a list together for wineries that are open on Easter Sunday. Bad choice of dates, but what can you do??

                  Preston was the one I was determined to go to originally, and glad to see that it's highly recommended by all of you!

                  How about BIG winery suggestions with good whites? I'm thinking that I'll have better luck for those being open on Easter...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: travelingfool

                    Ferrari Carano has OK to decent whites and is up by Preston.

                    Not really big, but large enough to have more slick and more active tasting rooms. Not near Preston, but you could try Hartford, Lynmar or Martinelli. All have good whites (and reds).

                    1. re: travelingfool

                      Yikes, Easter is one of the two days (Christmas is the other) that wineries close. Dang. Your best bet is to call the wineries. Sorry, but this doesn't look good. Day change??

                      1. re: travelingfool

                        The Russian River Wine Road organization with member wineries in Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley, and Russian River Valley just published a list of wineries open (or closed) on Easter Sunday.

                        EASTER – Sunday April 8, 2012
                        Along the Wine Road
                        Northern Sonoma County, CA

                        WINERIES THAT ARE OPEN
                        Acorn Winery by appt.
                        Amista Vineyards 10:00-4:30
                        (egg hunt – 10:00-12:00 $10
                        )Armida Winery 11:00-5:00
                        Benovia Winery by appt.
                        Bluenose Wines
                        Collier Falls 10:30-4:30
                        Dashe Cellars 10:30-4:30
                        DaVero Farms & Winery 10-5
                        Dutton-Goldfield 10:00-4:30
                        Forth Vineyards 10:30-4:30
                        Francis Ford Coppola 11:00-6 Rustic Restaurant 11-9
                        Freestone Vyds. w/art display
                        Geyser Peak 10:00-5:00
                        Hart’s Desire Wines 11:00-4:30
                        Inman Family Wines 11:00-4
                        J. Keverson 11:00-4:00
                        Kachina Vineyards 11:00-4:00
                        Kendall-Jackson Healds 10-5:00
                        Lago di Merlo Vyds. & Winery
                        LaCrema Tasting R 10:30-5:30
                        Locals Tasting Room 11:00-6
                        Longboard Vineyards 11:00-6
                        Lynmar Winery 10:00-5:00
                        Mercury Wines 11:00-6:00
                        Merriam Vineyards 10:00-5:00
                        Mietz Cellars 10:30-4:30
                        Moshin Vineyards 11:00-4:30
                        Mueller Winery 11:00-4:00
                        Murphy-Goode 10:30-5:30
                        Peterson Winery 11:00-4:30
                        Philip Staley Vyds. & Winery
                        Portalupi Wines 10:30-4:00
                        Porter Creek Vyd. 10:30-4:30
                        Ridge Vineyards 11:00-5:00
                        Roadhouse Winery 11:00-7:00
                        Russian Hill Estate 10:00-4:00
                        Russian River Vineyards 11-5 Corks Restaurant @ RRV / Brunch
                        Selby Winery 11:00-5:30
                        Sheldon Wines by appt.
                        Stephen & Walker 11:00-7:00
                        Sunce Winery 10:30-5:00
                        Taft Street Winery 11:00-4:30
                        Tara Bella Winery by appt.
                        Teldeschi Winery 1:00-4:00
                        Thumbprint Cellars 11:00-6:00
                        Toad Hollow 10:30-4ish…
                        Topel Tasting Rm. 11:00-7:00
                        Truett Hurst 10:00-5:00 music
                        VML Winery 11:00-5:00
                        VML 1:00-5:00 music
                        West Wines 11:00-4:00
                        Williamson Wines 11:00-7:00
                        W2 Williamson 11:00-6:00

                        WINERIES THAT ARE CLOSED
                        Alderbrook Winery
                        Alexander Valley Vineyards
                        Amphora Winery
                        Arista Winery
                        Battaglini Estate Winery
                        Bella Vineyards & Caves
                        Balletto Vineyards
                        Carol Shelton Wines
                        Cellars of Sonoma
                        Christopher Creek Winery
                        Clos du Bois Winery
                        D’ Argenzio Winery
                        David Coffaro Winery
                        De La Montanya Winery
                        deLorimier Winery
                        Draxton Wines
                        Dry Creek Vineyard
                        Dutcher Crossing Winery
                        Dutton Estate Winery
                        Everett Ridge Winery
                        Field Stone Winery
                        Forchini Vyds. & Winery
                        Frick Winery
                        Fritz Winery
                        Göpfrich Estate Winery
                        Graton Ridge Cellars
                        Hanna Winery Alex. Valley
                        Hanna Winery, RR Valley
                        Hartford Wines
                        Harvest Moon Winery
                        Hauck Cellars
                        Hawkes Winery
                        Holdredge Wines
                        Hook and Ladder Winery
                        Hop Kiln Winery
                        Iron Horse Vineyards
                        John Tyler/Bacigalupi Vyds
                        J Vineyards
                        J. Rickards Winery
                        Kendall-Jackson Wine Ctr.
                        Kokomo Winery
                        Korbel Champagne Cellars
                        Lancaster Estate
                        Lost Canyon Winery
                        Manzanita Creek Winery
                        Martinelli Winery
                        Mauritson Winery
                        Martin Ray Winery
                        Matrix Winery
                        Mazzocco Winery
                        Medlock Ames Winery
                        The Meeker Vineyard
                        Mill Creek Vineyards
                        Mounts Family Winery
                        Optima Cellars
                        Papapietro Perry Winery
                        Paradise Ridge Winery
                        Passalacqua Winery
                        Pech Merle Winery
                        Pedroncelli Winery
                        Preston of Dry Creek
                        Quivira Vyds. & Winery
                        Raymond Burr Vineyards
                        Robert Rue Vyd. & Winery
                        Robert Young Estate
                        Rodney Strong Vineyards
                        Sausal Winery
                        Sbragia Family Vineyards
                        Seghesio Family Vineyards
                        Silver Oak Cellars
                        Simi Winery
                        Soda Rock Winery
                        Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
                        Starlite Vineyards
                        Stryker Sonoma
                        Stuhlmuller Vineyards
                        Trentadue Winery
                        Trione Winery
                        Twomey Cellars
                        White Oak Vyds. & Winery
                        Wilson Winery
                        Windsor Oaks Vineyards
                        The Wineyard
                        Yoakim Bridge Winery