Top 5: Healdsburg Wineries & Restaurant Guide
Explore these wineries in Healdsburg
Healdsburg is nestled away in Sonoma County, which is less than an hour by car from San Francisco. The short drive to the village in the hills is just shy of breathtaking. Located at the convergence of three famous valleys, Russian River, Alexander and Dry Creek, Healdsburg features a perfect trifecta for exponential wine making possibilities for the growth of robust varietals. Winding roads that lead from one winery to another display an elegant landscape of grape vines, each unique to its own viticulture region. This guide will help you map out wineries in Healdsburg.
1. Thumbprint Cellars - 102 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448 - Ph (707) 433-2393
Owners Erica and Scott Lindstrom-Drake’s Thumbprint Cellars 2010 Climax, a Sonoma County Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Viognier, which is served at their tasting room located in the town’s square. Scott is the mastermind behind the crafting of each wine and it is his thumbprint that is emblazoned on the bottles. The tasting lounge is filled with ever-changing eclectic art pieces and epitomizes the essence of Thumbprint Cellars.
2. Rosenblum Cellars Tasting Room - 10 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607 - Ph (510) 995-4100
Just off the town’s main square, Rosenblum Cellars Tasting Room offers one of the region’s best Zinfandel varietals, a smaller production of Rhone-style wines and a new series of Bubbles. The tasting room encompasses a modern-chic lounge, with natural light pouring in, making it an inviting, spacious and ultra-cool space. A brief period of sunbathing can be enjoyed while sipping a fruit-forward glass of wine in the fully furnished patio. The 2010 Winemaker Select Zinfandel is a bottle that you will, without a doubt, wish to bring back from your trip featuring juicy, bold tannins and a dark cherry finish, it is a definitive representation of a damn good Zinfandel.
3. Dry Creek Olive Company - 4791 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448 - Ph (707) 431-7200
Head out early to the steep rolling hillsides of Trattore Farms at the eastern end of Dry Creek Valley. Owner Tim Bucher’s inspiration for the name comes from an old red tractor transported from Europe. Bucher’s admiration for the craftsmanship of tractors is translated into his detailed commitment to producing a collection of wines and olive oils that pay tribute to rich farming traditions. The stone-strewn soils of the region mimic the terrains of the Côtes du Rhône region of France, yielding Petite Syrah, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier and Zinfandel. Trattore Farms is also home to Dry Creek Olive Company, where a seven-ton granite wheel is used to make olive oil, a tradition that dates back to the Greeks 5,000 years ago. Trattore is the only olive oil company in the region to use this ancient method of procuring oil from the olives. Bucher invites visitors to sip on estate wines, paired with unique olive oils and delicate food bites, at Trattore Farms.
4. Quivira Vineyards and Winery - 4900 W Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448 - Ph (707) 431-8333
One of Healdsburg’s truly eco-friendly wine experiences takes place at Quivira Vineyards and Winery in Dry Creek Valley, setting the standard for sustainable farming. Quivira brings in heirloom breed chickens, organic gardens, beehives and a wild pig to help create the ultimate ecosystem for crafting the best varietals. This type of agrarian practice has been the carefully crafted vision of Pete and Terri Kight, owners of Quivira. Their vision of biodynamics entails organic farming practices that focus on proactive sustainability through biodiversity. Quivira’s romantic views of Mount St. Helena and vineyards stretching to the horizon make it a perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon picnic while sipping on Quivira’s signature Dry Creek Valley 2011 Zinfandel. This perfectly balanced wine has a mid-palate density, just the right amount of acidity, and an indulgent mix of dark berries and subtle spice that make this red oh-so complete.
5. Jordan Winery - 1474 Alexander Valley Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448 - Ph (707) 431-5250
Jordan Winery, a 1,200-acre estate located in the Alexander Valley, should be included in any wine tour of Healdsburg. CEO John Jordan’s innovative practices have brought about a new wine-tasting event for visitors. During the Estate Tour & Tasting experience guests are taken on a three-hour excursion in a custom Mercedes Sprinter to revel in the resplendent winery, bursting at the seams with wildlife, lush vineyards and fertile gardens. Guests are taken to the remote destination of Jordan Estates and at each stop they view the natural beauty of its countryside. Food and wine pairings prepared by Chef Todd Knoll, using ingredients brought in from the chef’s garden, are showcased at each stop. The tour includes the current release of the winery’s two varietals—Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Calderwood Inn, owned by Wilson Winery, is a quintessential bed and breakfast. Built in 1902, the Queen Anne Victorian-style house is embellished with young redwoods and cypress trees. The opulent interior is adorned with layered hand-printed Bradbury Art wallpaper and decorative antiques of the period. The mornings are welcomed with fresh coffee and a sure-to-please breakfast, complete with freshly baked pastries. The evenings are celebrated with a five-o’clock wine pour, served with a variety of fresh fruit and delicate cheeses in either the foyer or the welcoming front porch overlooking the intricate gardens designed by the late horticulturist Luther Burbank. H2 Hotel, also known by the locals as “h2o,” is one of Healdsburg’s newer hotels, and perfect for modern eco-conscious visitors to Healdsburg. The hotel is built to the standards of the LEED Gold Green building certification, and features 36 eco-chic rooms with private balconies, using sustainable materials for decor and creative amenities. Each room offers complementary flat and sparkling water that may be refilled on each floor. Of course, hydration is a must after a day of wine-tasting.
Healdsburg is home to savory restaurants like, Spoonbar inside Calderwood Inn, which has recently been named one of the top 100 Bay Area restaurants by the San Francisco Chronicle magazine’s food critic Michael Bauer. The seasonally changing menu is under the mastermind of Chef Louis Maldonado, who previously worked at San Francisco’s Fifth Floor and Aziza. Maldonado’s focus is heirloom grains dating back 100 years, seasonal vegetables, fresh meats that are paired perfectly with local wines and Spoonbar’s own extensive farm-to-bar cocktails.
One of Healdsburg’s few Greek and Mediterranean restaurants is Taverna Sofia, affectionately referred to by Chef Sofia Petridis-Lim as her “baby.” Chef Sofia’s menu is set by her passion for fresh local produce, imported herbs and spices that display the authentic dishes inspired by the culinary talents of her grandmother. A varying selection of locally baked breads, pastries, gyro dishes, melt-in–your-mouth lamb shank and spanakopita is sure to transport your senses to the salty air of the Mediterranean. If you happen to be in town during the last Saturday of the month, Chef Sofia hosts a live Greek- and belly-dancing show, accompanied by live Greek music. This event has been known to book up quickly, so be sure to make reservations in advance and get ready to do some shimmying and hip-shaking.
Healdsburg’s beauty lies in the very earth that fills the lungs with each breath, the warmth of the golden California sun, the sprawling emerald- green expanses touched by the morning dew and the air fragrant with blossoms of citrus trees. The vitality of the countryside owes its existence to the locals who have put their very hearts and souls into the terrain comprised of the valleys, creeks and rolling hills of a wine country that has preserved its integrity as a delightful agrarian town replete with luxurious wonders.
Written By Balkis Nasery