Healdsburg is one of a few wine country towns that makes it easy to enjoy a full day of wine tasting and culinary treats without ever having to get in a car. The plaza, which dates back to the 1800s, is the centerpiece to the town. Home to more than a dozen tasting rooms, as well as great bars, restaurants and shops, it is an ideal place to spend a day – or two.
Starting on Healdsburg Avenue, the southwest edge of the plaza, wine seekers have an abundance of options. Just a few steps from the corner of Healdsburg Avenue and Matheson Street are several tasting rooms to visit. Siduri specializes in Pinot Noir grapes grown in cooler climates, including California’s Russian River Valley, Salinas Valley and Santa Rita Hills as well as the Willamette Valley in Oregon. La Crema, perhaps best known for their rich Chardonnay, also produces excellent Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Rosé. Next door, Stephen and Walker, offers tastings of their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and more. A few steps beyond the plaza to the north, the Hartford Family Winery tasting room pours a variety of wines grown in their Russian River vineyards.
Heading east on Plaza Street, don’t miss the tasting room inside Ferrari-Carano’s Seasons of the Vineyard Tasting Bar and Boutique. The Ferrari Carano family has been making wine in Sonoma County since the mid-80s, starting with a Fumé Blanc and Chardonnay. Today the original wines are still being made in addition to more than 20 other varietals. They also own Lazy Creek Vineyards in Mendocino County, but you don’t have to travel there to taste their Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Rosé. Enjoy some while you browse Seasons of the Vineyard’s boutique full of one-of-a-kind items.
At the end of Plaza Street, you’ll hit Center Street and more tasting rooms. Banshee Wines’ hip and laid-back tasting room serves single vineyard designate, limited production Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They’ve recently opened an outdoor seating area where you can grab a bite to pair with a delicious bottle. Across the street, Cartograph Wines is known for small-lot Pinot Noir and Alsace-style Riesling. Their modern tasting room is a welcoming place to sip and socialize. Jean-Charles Boisset grew up in a French wine making family and his larger-than-life personality is synonymous with his wines. The JCB Tasting Salon is a luxurious lounge designed to “celebrate the pleasures of the wine lifestyle.” Rich fabrics, jewel tones and objets d’art complement the richness of the JCB collection. Heading south past the plaza, stop in to sample Roadhouse Estate’s micro-produced Pinot Noir.
Williamson Wines crafts a wide variety of wines and offers two unique tasting experiences. At one of their Matheson Street tasting rooms, enjoy a seated tasting flight of four wines along with a pairing of cheese and small bites. Tastings include their Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône style wines as well as Rosé and sparking varieties. Another option is the Icon Tasting at their second downtown tasting room. Icon Wines are small production, collectible wines made especially for Williamson’s wine club members. Williamson’s wine and food educators pair these special wines with a selection of culinary delights.
At the corner of Center Street and Matheson Street on the southeast side, you’ll find two tasting rooms with a lot of variety. Lioco offers several flight options that allow you to explore their wines from vineyards in Sonoma, Mendocino and Santa Cruz counties. The husband and wife team behind the wine focuses on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Carignan.Finally, heading west on Matheson, heading back to the beginning of this route, pop into Thumbprint Cellars’ comfortable tasting lounge where you can kick back and enjoy their limited-production vintages along with a complimentary snack plate.
Visit our blog for more information on the dozens of other wineries throughout Healdsburg and some great places to stop for a bite between tastes. If you want to extend your stay overnight, there are an array of hotels, inns and B&Bs to choose from in Healdsburg.