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Tasting Rooms for One-Stop Sipping

Great wineries think alike. That’s part of the reason that so many tasting rooms cluster around downtown Healdsburg. A wine lover could spend several days sipping many of Sonoma County’s best brands without once needing to hop in a car.

The storefronts around The Plaza brim with coveted choices, showcasing the area’s famous Zinfandels, Pinot Noirs, and Chardonnays, along with virtually every other varietal, too. It can be tough to keep count of all the tasting room activity as more shops open, but a downtown walking tour includes some two dozen salons, with even more tasting rooms just a few blocks away or on the nearby perimeter of town (and within easy walking distance).

Selections run the gamut, from the larger crowd-pleaser operation of Partake by Kendall Jackson (241 Healdsburg Ave., 707-433-6000), a tasting room and restaurant just off the plaza, to the boutique Banshee Wines (325 Center St., 707-395-0915). The La Crema Tasting Room (235 Healdsburg Ave., Suite 1010, 707-431-9400) is always a popular stop, and everyone instantly falls in love with the "garage style" Pinot Noirs found at Roadhouse Winery (240 Center St., 707-922-6362).

Some tasting rooms do double duty, too, such as Seasons of the Vineyards (113 Plaza St., 707-431-2222), a tasting room, wine shop, and gift store where tastings of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Wineries and Lazy Creek Vineyards beckon alongside unique Wine Country home decor and gifts. Plus, on Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m. year-round, Seasons presents free groovin’ jazz performances by Bay area talent.

Then, there are the co-ops, where guests don’t even have to leave their comfortable seats to enjoy an array of magnificent small-production wines. Hudson Street Wineries (428 Hudson St., 707-433-2364) is a hidden secret destination less than a mile southeast of The Plaza, and is home to almost a half dozen tiny wineries crafting premium Sonoma County wines. The building itself is worth a visit; the historic property was home to one of the area’s original wineries more than a century ago.

And still, there’s even more to explore. Healdsburg is surrounded by three lush winegrowing regions, with some 100 wineries outside of town, in properties sprinkled across hills, dales, and vineyards near and far. Check our listings for wineries in Healdsburg and the wine regions of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley.

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