Tasting Rooms for One-Stop Sipping in Healdsburg
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, including the boutique Banshee Wines that bucks the traditional tasting room style with a casual, comfortably modern decor against a warm backdrop of reclaimed wood. And everyone instantly falls in love with the "garage style" Pinot Noirs found at Roadhouse Winery.
At Cartograph, find Pinot Noir with freshness and transparency, and if you're lucky, dry Riesling - the grape that sent former public radio sound engineer Alan Baker on a winemaking journey - in this brightly styled tasting room on Center Street (tip: just steps from some of the best coffee in Sonoma County).
The trinity of Russian River Valley wines comes to Healdsburg in the Hartford Family Winery tasting room with a view of the Plaza: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and old vine Zinfandel. At Thumbprint, choose from 10 wines daily, including saucily titled blends like 'Four Play' and 'Threesome.'
Some tasting rooms do double duty, too, such as Hawley Winery Tasting Room & Gallery which features bold Sonoma County landscapes by Dana Hawley, an established and collected artist since 1980. The gallery also serves as a tasting room for Hawley wines, with wine-stave furniture and chandeliers by Austin Hawley.
Some offer pairings with a tasting. A few steps south of the plaza, expansive, check out the new digs for the Pinot Noir specialists Siduri where they serve up small plates or a box of chicken courtesy of Forestville's Backyard restaurant. Or check out scrumptious small bites with big Cabernet at Williamson.
Explore the side streets around Healdsburg Plaza a little more and find Italian varietals at Portalupi Wines; Chardonnay at Selby; and surfer-themed tasting at Longboard. Just a short walk from the Plaza to the west, Breathless created a landscaped oasis in this industrial zone. Sip sparkling wine and dress up for Polaroid photos in this fun, welcoming lounge. Just on the other side of the street, Young & Yonder Spirits is a craft distillery and tasting room producing vodka, gin, bourbon and absinthe.
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 is a hidden secret destination less than a mile southeast of the plaza, and is home to four tiny wineries crafting premium Sonoma County wines.
Across the street, there's more to winemaker Guy Davis' award-winning Pinot Noir, Zin, and more at Davis Family overlooking the Russian River: you may find the Zazu gourmet food truck parked by a produce garden in full bloom.
With all these tasting rooms located within walking distance of downtown Healdsburg, it can be hard to know where to begin. Healdsburg Wine & Food Walking Tours, Let's Go Wine Walk, and Savor Healdsburg Food Tours all offer behind-the-scenes walking tours led by local experts. Or, ride a "party bike" with up to 10 people pedaling together on the Wine & Nibble Tour with Bike Healdsburg.
And 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 of all Sonoma County Wineries, and localize the list by clicking on Healdsburg.