Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Brian Tuite
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#401 Post by Brian Tuite » November 29th, 2018, 5:41 am

A Curcio wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 10:45 pm
Bergamot Alley closed :(

One of my favorite memories was winning their annual spelling bee - never even used the gift certificate!

newhere
Thank you, I’ve updated the listing.

I also added the new Russian River Brewing Brewpub/Tasting Bar/Retail Store/Brewery Facility in Windsor

If anyone sees wineries/Tasting Rooms/Restaurants/Lodging etc missing or businesses listed that are closed please bring it to my attention and I’ll update the OP. Thanks again!
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#402 Post by Andrew D. » January 6th, 2019, 6:36 pm

Greetings all. My wife and I will be staying just outside of Healdsburg next month for a few days of vacation. Wondering if folks can point us to some good tasting rooms in the Plaza area. (We'll have three days of tasting available and won't be driving so don't be shy).

We like a bit of everything with perhaps a bit of a focus on Pinot, Chard, and Zin. We'd like to bring a few bottles back with us so places with bottle prices of $60 and under is preferred.

Also, any pizza/Italian places worth visiting?

Lastly, there's a gourmet sandwich shop in the Plaza that we really like. Can somebody provide the name of the store?

Giving back...from our trip last year to the area, our favorite was Joseph Jewell for Pinot. They have a nice tasting room in Forestville.

Thank you.
D o o n a n

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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#403 Post by Brian Tuite » January 6th, 2019, 8:02 pm

Andrew D. wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 6:36 pm
Greetings all. My wife and I will be staying just outside of Healdsburg next month for a few days of vacation. Wondering if folks can point us to some good tasting rooms in the Plaza area. (We'll have three days of tasting available and won't be driving so don't be shy).

We like a bit of everything with perhaps a bit of a focus on Pinot, Chard, and Zin. We'd like to bring a few bottles back with us so places with bottle prices of $60 and under is preferred.

Also, any pizza/Italian places worth visiting?

Lastly, there's a gourmet sandwich shop in the Plaza that we really like. Can somebody provide the name of the store?

Giving back...from our trip last year to the area, our favorite was Joseph Jewell for Pinot. They have a nice tasting room in Forestville.

Thank you.
Joseph Swan
Nalle
Hartford Family
Inman

Sandwiches are great at Big John’s Market at H’brg Ave and Dry Creek Rd.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#404 Post by Bryan Price » January 6th, 2019, 9:53 pm

Any point in tasting at Rochioli? Went there a few years ago and only got to taste 3 wines. Not going to pony up ~$100 on the SVDs if I can't try them first.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#405 Post by Leonard Taylor » January 7th, 2019, 3:39 am

Bryan Price wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 9:53 pm
Any point in tasting at Rochioli? Went there a few years ago and only got to taste 3 wines. Not going to pony up ~$100 on the SVDs if I can't try them first.
We visited Rochioli last fall and they only tasted 3 wines. None of the single vineyard. But you will not be disappointed in plunking down the $$ for them I assure you. I have been buying them for a decade or more and they are always at the pinnacle of Cali pinots.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#406 Post by Dan Hammer » January 9th, 2019, 4:33 pm

Andrew D. wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 6:36 pm

Greetings all. My wife and I will be staying just outside of Healdsburg next month for a few days of vacation. Wondering if folks can point us to some good tasting rooms in the Plaza area. (We'll have three days of tasting available and won't be driving so don't be shy).

Very close to the plaza > Holdredge. John has a fun tasting room, not to mention his wines are good. He's a board member, so if you contact him I would expect he'd comp your tasting. Welcome to Berserkers.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#407 Post by T Welch » January 9th, 2019, 4:43 pm

The sandwich shop on the plaza might be Oakville Grocery.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#408 Post by Richard Albert » January 15th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Bryan, they do not taste the SVD's cause they to not have to; some sold out out in hours last year.
Have you been offered an allocation?
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#409 Post by Bryan Price » January 15th, 2019, 8:07 pm

Richard Albert wrote:
January 15th, 2019, 7:12 pm
Bryan, they do not taste the SVD's cause they to not have to; some sold out out in hours last year.
Have you been offered an allocation?
I haven't Richard. I suspect I would really like Rochioli but have had limited chances to try it to see if it's worth the tariff. I stopped by the tasting room a couple of years ago and caught them at a bad time. They had just opened up and the wines were too cold and not aired out. Suffice to say even after warming it up in my hands they weren't anything to write home about but I'm all the more intrigued to try to the SVDs.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#410 Post by Steve Anderson » January 31st, 2019, 11:34 am

Andrew D. wrote:
January 6th, 2019, 6:36 pm
Greetings all. My wife and I will be staying just outside of Healdsburg next month for a few days of vacation. Wondering if folks can point us to some good tasting rooms in the Plaza area. (We'll have three days of tasting available and won't be driving so don't be shy).

We like a bit of everything with perhaps a bit of a focus on Pinot, Chard, and Zin. We'd like to bring a few bottles back with us so places with bottle prices of $60 and under is preferred.

Also, any pizza/Italian places worth visiting?

Lastly, there's a gourmet sandwich shop in the Plaza that we really like. Can somebody provide the name of the store?

Giving back...from our trip last year to the area, our favorite was Joseph Jewell for Pinot. They have a nice tasting room in Forestville.

Thank you.
Andrew:

On the Plaza: Lioco - nice Chards, Pinot and old vine Carignan, and great folks

Close by (1-2 blocks): Banshee, Siduri, Roadhouse (Eric Hall posts on WB - ericleehall), and Idlewild (Sam Bilbro/Italian Varietals)

Walking distance (maybe up to 8=10 blocks?): Ramey, Holdrege and Arnot Roberts. A-R may be a tougher appointment unless you are on their mailing list. I was also going to recommend Valdez, but looks like the H'burg tasting room may have closed after Ulises passed last fall. There are quite a few other tasting rooms in Healdsburg, but those are just a few that I would hit.

Cheers!

Steve

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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#411 Post by Brian Tuite » January 31st, 2019, 12:44 pm

Italian/Pizza
Diavola in Geyserville
Catelli’s in Geyserville
Rosso in Santa Rosa pizza/wine
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#412 Post by Jeff VanDenbussche » February 5th, 2019, 8:21 am

We will be spending a few days in Sonoma the end of April and are looking for winery and/or restaurant suggestions. Not sure yet if we will be staying in the town of Sonoma, Healdsburg, or a day or in both. We are interested in smaller wineries for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir especially, but enjoy all varietals. We especially enjoy tours with great views, and also ones hosted by the winemaker/owner. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#413 Post by Karen Troisi » February 20th, 2019, 5:50 am

Jeff VanDenbussche wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 8:21 am
We will be spending a few days in Sonoma the end of April and are looking for winery and/or restaurant suggestions. Not sure yet if we will be staying in the town of Sonoma, Healdsburg, or a day or in both. We are interested in smaller wineries for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir especially, but enjoy all varietals. We especially enjoy tours with great views, and also ones hosted by the winemaker/owner. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
Jeff we are located on the Sonoma Plaza if you would like to stop by to taste DM me. Highly recommend Three Sticks for a visit - very solid line-up they are pouring.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#414 Post by JDavisRoby » February 20th, 2019, 11:52 am

I’ve seen Repris mentioned here in this thread and in a few other threads. On our last trip to Sonoma we stayed in a VRBO right below their winery. We were scheduled for a tasting but had to cancel as one of our known favorites had a tasting spot open up.

From what I’ve read Repris is a must stop for their caves. How are the wines?

The home we rented was owned by a couple that makes Vulture Vineyards Pinot. If you’re into being somewhere off the beaten path and waking up to seeing the vineyards worked I’d highly recommend their place.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#415 Post by wbeshears » February 21st, 2019, 9:22 am

I know Repris decently well. I know the owner personally from a former life and I've been on their wine list for maybe five or six years now (in fact as luck would have it I'm sitting next to a stack of Repris half cases as I write this). The caves are indeed impressive and I think the property is stellar and one of the most scenic in wine country. The wines are definitely on the pricier side for Sonoma (although not relative to Napa), but consistently very solid...only rarely have I not liked a bottle. The main focus is Bordeaux blends, but they also produce a pretty wide range of great single varietals (just brought a bottle of malbec to dinner a few weeks ago that ended up being everyone's favorite of the night, but also make merlot, petit verdot, syrah, zin, and some whites, and obviously cab). It's one of the wines I'll reach for if I want to bring a "good bottle" of wine to a dinner party that I know will get a good reception. I'd say definitely worth a visit. FWIW the owner also owns the Texture label which produces some pretty good pinot, although I'm not sure if you can taste or buy it at Repris.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#416 Post by Alan Rath » February 23rd, 2019, 8:52 pm

We ate at a cool little restaurant last night which deserves to be on the Healdsburg list: Guiso Latin Fusion (pronounced "gee-so" hard G). It's a young Salvadoran chef, cooking latin food from around Central America and Caribbean, with some special recipes from grandma and elsewhere. Only 6 or 7 tables, I think 24 seats total, including 4 counter stools overlooking the small kitchen. Small wine and beer list. We'll definitely go back, and I highly recommend it.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#417 Post by Alan Rath » February 28th, 2019, 9:49 pm

And a brew pub to add in Petaluma: Brewsters Beer Garden, good food, large beer selection, great large space, indoor and outdoor.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#418 Post by Andrew D. » March 2nd, 2019, 12:40 pm

Greetings. I wanted to circle back on our recent visit to the Healdsburg area. Had a great time. The wine and food was outstanding and we lucked out with just a few raindrops while we were there. Here's hoping the area can dry out and soon!

Enjoyable tastings at Joseph Jewell, Hanna (nice views, too) and SodaRock (cool building) in Alexander Valley. Around the square we hit up Selby and Idlewild. The latter really impressed us. Italian varietals in California? We gave it a whirl and really enjoyed the entire flight. We took back a bottle of nebbiolo from them and would've bought more but our luggage was almost full.

We wanted to get to Hartford but we had already bought a few Pinots so we hit Dry Creek Valley one afternoon for some Zin. Uber and Lyft were easy to use.

The star of the show, though, was Holdredge. Thanks to Dan H. for the recommendation. We lucked out and John was pouring the day we visited. While we were there a sitcom broke out, complete with some of their Bucher vineyard wine that somehow never got poured to a regular and some eye-rolling lawyer advice.

We joined the club and had a great time. John was also nice enough to connect us with Valette for a great dinner. Got to meet Dustin, chef/co-owner, as well. Also had a nice meal at Baci.

The other takeaway we had was that we enjoyed each tasting room much more if those pouring engaged and were conversational. I don't think it's a coincidence that those with better wines also provided a better total experience.

As to the sandwich shop mystery: solved. Oakville Grocery was the spot I was thinking of and their sandwiches again were delicious. We also had good sandwiches from Big John's Market, but I give the nod to Oakville.

For any golfers, the Santa Rosa CC was very good albeit extremely wet, but a nice classic layout and very walkable. A course worth playing if you can get on. I also enjoyed the layout at Windsor Golf Club. Again, just needs to dry out.

Looking forward to another trip and thanks for the tips and advice.
D o o n a n

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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#419 Post by JDavisRoby » March 3rd, 2019, 7:04 pm

The food and service at Valette was top notch when we were there.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#420 Post by H. Holt » March 7th, 2019, 8:33 am

Thanks for the write up Andrew. My wife and I are heading out next week for the first time and will hit up some of the wineries you mentioned.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#421 Post by Jeff VanDenbussche » March 11th, 2019, 1:40 pm

Andrew - Thanks for the report. I had already been in contact with Holdredge, so I am definitely going to put them at the top of our list. I am trying to make sure John will be there. We are just starting to put together our itinerary for April. We are also looking at some of your restaurant suggestions. Glad you had a great time.

H. Holt - Please report back when you return.

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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#422 Post by Rich Salsano » March 17th, 2019, 5:27 am

JDavisRoby wrote:
March 3rd, 2019, 7:04 pm
The food and service at Valette was top notch when we were there.
One of our favorite restaurants for sure.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#423 Post by Joe V » March 22nd, 2019, 8:37 pm

I'll be spending the last week of March up in Healdsburg and have only 1 tasting reservation at A. Rafanelli on Saturday. But I'd really like to visit a winery that has some solid white wines.

Any suggestions for a winery either near Rafanelli, or near Healdsburg that has some solid whites?

Thanks!
-Joe

P.S. Looking forward to a Sunday night dinner at Single Thread.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#424 Post by Brian Tuite » March 22nd, 2019, 10:42 pm

Ramey is in industrial Healdsburg. Good selection of SVD Chards.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#425 Post by Mike Kuller » March 23rd, 2019, 10:38 am

Joe V wrote:
March 22nd, 2019, 8:37 pm
I'll be spending the last week of March up in Healdsburg and have only 1 tasting reservation at A. Rafanelli on Saturday. But I'd really like to visit a winery that has some solid white wines.

Any suggestions for a winery either near Rafanelli, or near Healdsburg that has some solid whites?

Thanks!
-Joe

P.S. Looking forward to a Sunday night dinner at Single Thread.
I've been buying wine from Rafanelli for over 25 years.

My wife loves the special chardonnays at Ferrari-Carano only sold at the winery or through the club.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#426 Post by S. Rash » March 24th, 2019, 4:11 pm

Joe V wrote:
March 22nd, 2019, 8:37 pm
I'll be spending the last week of March up in Healdsburg and have only 1 tasting reservation at A. Rafanelli on Saturday. But I'd really like to visit a winery that has some solid white wines.

Any suggestions for a winery either near Rafanelli, or near Healdsburg that has some solid whites?

Thanks!
-Joe

P.S. Looking forward to a Sunday night dinner at Single Thread.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#427 Post by Gil H » May 16th, 2019, 12:32 pm

I am looking at planning a corporate event and am looking at renting a home in St. Helena. Do you have any good recommendations for wineries that handle groups of 20 well.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#428 Post by Mike Kuller » May 16th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Gil H wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 12:32 pm
I am looking at planning a corporate event and am looking at renting a home in St. Helena. Do you have any good recommendations for wineries that handle groups of 20 well.
First of all St. Helena is not in Sonoma.

But you must know that.

Some years ago we had a terrific corporate dinner at Merryvale Winery in their big barrel room and I believe it was catered by Tra Vigne next door. It was spectacular.

But Tra Vigne is now something else.
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Re: Planning your visit to Sonoma "County"? This might help.

#429 Post by Brian Tuite » May 17th, 2019, 5:37 am

Mike Kuller wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Gil H wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 12:32 pm
I am looking at planning a corporate event and am looking at renting a home in St. Helena. Do you have any good recommendations for wineries that handle groups of 20 well.
First of all St. Helena is not in Sonoma.

But you must know that.

Some years ago we had a terrific corporate dinner at Merryvale Winery in their big barrel room and I believe it was catered by Tra Vigne next door. It was spectacular.

But Tra Vigne is now something else.
Tra Vigne moved North where the old Outlet Mall used to be and is now Brasswood. They brought the staff and menu with them!
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