I’m still reminiscing about where I was on Friday of last week. It was so wonderful! I can feel the breeze on my neck and the stem of a wine glass in my hand.
Healdsburg, California is supposed to be “where the locals go,” so it’s where a girlfriend of mine, Holly, a local, and I headed this past weekend. We were going off a list of wineries Holly’s friend provided her, and frankly we felt like we had no idea what we were doing because neither of us had done a lick of research…we just set out in the car, with the sunroof open, yelling, “Woooooo!! We’re going to Healdsburg baby!!!”
Fortunately, there are signs everywhere and we couldn’t have gone wrong if we tried.
1. Truett – Almost every winery I’ve visited in northern California has a beautiful tasting room, lush gardens, and delicious wine. (That’s the glory of this part of the world–everything is delicious.) What makes Truett special is this sitting area down by the river.
The drive into Truett is gorgeous as well.
The gardens are spectacular.
And the wine is great. We circled back at the end of the day to buy a bottle.
But I won’t lie, the highlight of my experience at Truett was pulling up to the tasting room and seeing a corgi.
2. Wilson Winery – Oh, brother. This one wins in the amazing views department. Here’s what you need to do to enjoy this one properly: go to the General Store, (link below) for food and take it to the Wilson Winery deck and have a picnic. You won’t hate it.
PS. Wilson winery is the only winery we encountered that day that sold wine by the glass.
3. Dry Creek General Store – I thought nothing could top Gruene General Store, but I was wrong. The term “General Store” doesn’t accurately paint the picture of this place. It is a delicatessen, unique gifts store, cheese lover’s paradise, and wine tasting room.
We got the turkey and pesto panini, curry chicken salad, kale salad with vinaigrette, and pesto hummus.
4. Quivira – this one gets the award for friendliest bartender and prettiest ceiling.
5. Ridge – Skidding in just before 5 o’clock, when vineyards shut down their tasting rooms, Holly and I ended the day on a high note. This may have been the most beautiful one of all. Extending the entire length of the building, a patio with sofas and tables faced the fantastic 180 degree view of Healdsburg vines.
You know, it’s a rough life just drinking wine on patios in beautiful places. I don’t know how people do it all day.
6. Dinner: Bravas – Per the recommendation of the friendly bartender, we headed into town and ate dinner at Bravas, a Spanish tapas place with the kind of back patio California weather deserves.
This man was cooking up paella and I was tempted to grab the spoon from him and start eating, but I refrained myself. We settled into the bar and ordered sangria, crab salad on crostini, bacon-wrapped blue cheese-stuffed dates, and paella.
7. Post-dinner stroll: Stop at SHED – This place was divine — from fresh flowers to a coffee bar to unique spices and ingredients like caramel maple whiskey sauce, this store had everything you could dream of having in your kitchen.
What an awesome day. Thanks to the hostess with the mostess Holly. Now, back to the papers on my desk…