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Healdsburg is a popular wine tasting destination – one of my favorites, for its proximity to Dry Creek Valley. The town is walkable, oriented around a centric square, and is packed with fine dining options.Just up the road, Geyserville is a good second option for lodging, a much smaller town and less fancy.


Geyserville

Dining

  • **Catelli’s: a classic, recently upgraded and lots of fun. Good food, lovely patio, nice service.
  • **Diavola: fancy pizza and salads. Really great, sit in the outdoor patio.
  • *Geyserville Grille: skip, no personality and kind of weird setting.

Hotels

  • **Hope-Merrill House: quite run down, not entirely in a bad way. Big pool, open April-October. Great location, less than $250/night, comes with breakfast. Only for those that can handle an “authentic” experience and a lot of interaction with the hosts.

Healdsburg 

Dining

  • **Barndiva: Fancy. It’s a little uneven – service a little slow, food hit and miss, cocktails creative but not always successful. Worth eating at once at least. Very carefully curated space. Ask for a table in the garden when making reservations.
  • *Center street cafe & deli : on the square. Just okay diner style place, nothing special.  [Closed] 
  • **Costeaux French Bakery: best breakfast in town. Big, friendly.
  • **Dry Creek General Store: on Dry Creek Road, a popular stop to provision for picnics – sandwiches, salads, and the like.
  • **Mateo’s Cocina Latina: consistently good, unique food. Don’t ask for chips, they get a little offended.
  • **Shed: beautiful store/casual food. Perfect for gifts, a light meal, an afternoon break. [Closed] Owners have a new restaurant here: littlesainthealdsburg.com
  • *Spoonbar: “Best cocktails in town.” Kind of a scene, not my favorite place.
  • *Willi’s seafood: pass. Just kind of lame all around. Food not good.
  • Chalkboard (haven’t been but liked the look of it)

Hotels

  • ***Honor Mansion : our favorite place to stay, on the expensive side, with extensive grounds, pool, croquet, etc. Under new management, now called The Ruse Healdsburg, and (at least judging from the website) the interiors look much more modern, redone.
  • **Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza : can’t beat the location. It’s not amazing but it’s clean and reasonably nice. Avoid room 7, has issues with noise and smells from the restaurant behind the hotel.

Dry Creek Wineries

I’ve organized these by sides of the valley, with the longer tail extension to West Side road. It’s all a relatively compact area. Pricing is out of date, circa 2017, so expect costs to be higher.

West Dry Creek

  • ***Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves, 9711 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.bellawinery.com. One of the best, affordable wines ($25-50), great setting, perfect for out-of-town visitors. Good wine club.
  • **Everett Ridge, 435 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, newer winery, playful and inexpensive wine. Nice views. (Appears to have been sold, now Flanagan Wines.)
  • **Lambert Bridge Winery, 4085 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.lambertbridge.com. Fancy and very napa-ish. Very good wine and a beautiful tasting room. Expensive and slightly pretentious. $15-25/ tasting, fee not waived.
  • **Preston of Dry Creek. 9282 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.prestonvineyards.com. Try the jug wine. Great setting, good wine, picnic area and snacks for sale. Organic wine. Negative: out a long dirt road.
  • *Quivira Vineyards & Winery, 4900 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.quivirawine.com. Pass, boring wine and not very interesting experience.
  • **Raymond Burr Vineyards, 8339 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95441, http://www.raymondburrvineyards.com. Cute and old-fashioned. One of my favorites.

Dry Creek Road

  • **Cast: www.castwines.com. Newer facility. Beautiful setting, $15 tasting comes with cheese pairing. Nice if slow service. 
  • **Chateau Diana, 6195 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.chateaud.com. Pretty garden area, $15 tasting waived with purchase. Wine $16-35. Not good wine at all, but pleasant staff and a nice experience.
  • *David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery, 7485 Dry Creek Rd., Geyserville CA 95441, http://www.coffaro.com not a favorite, nice setting but average wine.
  • **Dutcher Crossing Winery, 8533 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville CA 95441, http://www.dutchercrossingwinery.com really nice experience. Newer winery with pleasant staff, great view, good wine club and events. $10 tasting waved with purchase. Wines $25-50, good value for the quality.
  • **Fritz Underground Winery, Dutcher Creek Road, Cloverdale CA 95425, http://www.fritzwinery.com a little hokey but architecturally interesting. Wine is fine, not great. $10 tasting, wine $25-55. Pretty site.
  • **Kachina Vineyards, Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.kachinavineyards.com. Small and casual, not typically open to the public. Part of the Porsche Club. Good port. (now closed, owned by https://www.reevewines.com/)
  • **Papapietro Perry Winery, 4791 Dry Creek Road – Bld. #4, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.papapietro-perry.com weird setting but surprisingly good wine. Mostly pinots. $10 tasting.
  • **Passalacqua Winery, Lambert Bridge Rd, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.passalacquawinery.com – very good, lovely setting. Wines $20-70. Reds and whites. $10 tasting, not waved.
  • **Pech Merle Winery, 4532 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.pechmerlewinery.com. Good wine at reasonable prices ($17-40). Whites and roses better than reds. Semi-private, limited open hours. (it appears they have a tasting room in Geyserville now and don’t do tastings at the winery)
  • *Peterson Winery, 4791 Dry Creek Road, Bld. #7, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.petersonwinery.com. Nice sustainability pov but not very good wine. Skip. $10 tasting.
  • **Talty Vineyards & Winery, 7127 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.taltyvineyards.com. Really like this place – winemaker does the tastings, zins only. $10 tasting waved with purchase. Wine $35-45.
  • *V.M.L.: pass. 5610 Dry Creek Rd. Wine is consistently below average.
  • *Wilson Winery – average. Big production, overpriced wine for the quality. Nice view, unpaved parking. $5 tasting, not waved. 1960 Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.wilsonwinery.com

Westside Road

  • **Arista: $10 tasting waved with purchase. Wines $25-65, mostly pinots. Really pretty setting, nice garden. Wine okay, not great. Worth a visit for the setting. Would be a nice spot for a picnic lunch.
  • **De La Montanya Winery, 999 Foreman Lane, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.dlmwine.com/: love this place. Casual and pleasant. Has a bocce court. Good rose.
  • **Gary Farrell: lovely setting, good for out of town guests. Wine quality is mixed and a bit expensive. $15-25 for tastings, not waved with purchase.
  • *Hop Kiln: bad wine. Historic building worth visiting once.
  • **J Rochioli: okay, casual, free tastings. Wine quality is uneven.
  • **Mill Creek Vineyards & Winery, 1401 Westside Road, Healdsburg CA 95448, http://www.millcreekwinery.com. Small and informal. Wine isn’t great but people are nice.
  • ***Porter Creek: always worth it. Inexpensive good wine, casual setting, friendly staff. Free tastings.  
  • *Thomas George Estates: not a favorite
  • *Twomey: super pretentious. Skip!

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