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Healdsburg wineries for group of 20

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We have a group of 20 visiting Healdsburg for one day. I thought it would be nice to concentrate our winery hopping in the Dry Creek Valley area. My goal is to hit 4 wineries from 11am-6pm.

My current shortlist is as follows, please help narrow! We are a big group, so trying to keep that in mind while looking for the best experience (views, nice tasting rooms, etc), as well as tasty smaller wines. Handful of the people attending are wine snobs, so also trying to impress.

Also any lunch suggestions? Pick up sandwiches at Oakville and picnic at the first winery? Or is there a winery you'd suggest that could provide lunch, along with the tasting?
Thanks in advance!

A. Rafanelli
Dutcher Crossing
silver oak
bella
preston
ridge lytton springs
Papapietro Perry

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  1. Check the tasting times of the wineries. Most close tasting around 4pm.

    1. Sbragia would be a good fit for 20 people. Nice, modern,good views, good wine. I would definitely hit Papapietro Perry, but be sure and let them know you're coming, otherwise you twenty will overwhelm anyone else who might be there. I would not take 20 people to Rafanelli unless they agreed ahead of time that they wanted to taste 20 people, and agreed to let you buy wine. Ridge is a yes. I am going to throw out Ferrarri-Carano, not for the quality of the wine, but as an example of just how much money you can put into a winery. It's possible that they might agree to give you a tour, and the winery and the grounds are worth seeing. Check with Coppola's about lunch, their outdoor seating is supposed to be spectacular.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pinotho

        I second Ferarri-Carano, also for the quality of the grounds. They'll definitely give you a tour, the grounds are spectacular and it may be among the few places in Dry Creek that 20 people won't feel even a little cramped. In fact, it might be the right place for your proposed picnic.

      2. I assume you are making appointments at least a few days ahead of time? Almost no winery in Sonoma can handle a group of 20 without prior notice. Also, call ahead to figure out where you can picnic (also not sure if this is a local group but make sure everyone is prepared that it could rain if you are going between October and April)

        I can't think of any winery in the Dry Creek area that has substantive food e.g. beyond olive oil and jams for sale. Medlock Ames has food in the evenings but not during the day.

        So I'd order sandwiches ahead of time from Oakville and pick up the day of.

        Your list is a good one - I can't imagine anyone sneering at it - Sbragia is a good suggestion.

        1. yes, definitely planning to make reservations

          any thoughts on top 4, based on the list above? trying to eliminate within the current shortlist

          3 Replies
          1. re: butter924

            my top 4 would be, in no particular order:
            Papapietro Perry
            Ridge
            Sbraglia
            Ferrari-Carano

            That will give you a nice variety, which you will be thankful for by the end of the day. Enjoy, have a good time.

            1. re: pinotho

              I would allocate an hour and a half per winery plus 15 minutes to get to the next one. The actual tasting will probably take 45 minutes to an hour plus if people want to purchase - that tends to drag out for awhile.

              You may want to do a tour at Ridge - could be fun for the group if the group is into learning about wine. Papapietro Perry is very small but has a patio that could probably accommodate the whole group. I'd highly recommend getting lunch ordered and secured before starting out on the day - as you actually don't have much time (most wineries are closed by 4:30 - 5). Good luck! And report back! I'm very curious how it all works out.

            2. re: butter924

              if you do the picnic, consider Dry Creek General Store, where Lambert Bridge Rd intersects Dry Creek Road:

              http://www.drycreekgeneralstore1881.c... .

            3. I'm a big fan of Mazzocco - fantastic Zinfandel, spacious tasting room. They also offer a boxed lunch option. I haven't tried the lunch, but I've enjoyed my visits there. Have fun!