Getting my Christmas shopping done early, I escaped from the big city’s holiday hustle and bustle and spent a day last weekend exploring the quaint downtown Healdsburg.
It’s been more than a decade since I’ve visited this small town in Sonoma County, and it has definitely blossomed with several new chic boutiques, restaurants, and wine-tasting rooms. I booked a five-hour food and wine-tasting walking tour from winebookings.com, using a special TravelZoo voucher so I only paid $59 instead of the normal $149.
Together with my friends Jason, Tat and Craig, we joined another couple for our intimate tour that started at the town square’s holiday-trimmed gazebo and traipsed around town visiting three wine-tasting rooms and a few food purveyors giving us a taste of pastries, tea, olive oil and chocolates.
The three wineries showcased Healdsburg’s finest grapes (often pinot noir), and offered up three distinct personalities. The first stop, Portalupi, was modern with an old world connection (and has some of my favorites tastes) while Banshee was hipster-like (I felt like we were sitting in the middle of a fashion store) and Thumbprint Cellars was eclectic and funky.
With a break in between for lunch at Oakville Grocery, the five hours were paced nicely by our guide and I didn’t feel rushed or bored. And the weather couldn’t have been more perfect – brisk fall day with sunlight streaking through the colorful leaves. It was the perfect treat for me.
Banshee Tasting Room, 325 Center St., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.395.0915
Costeaux French Bakery, 417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.433.1913
Dragonfly Tea Co., 126 North St., Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, Calif. 707.473.8256
Healdsburg General Store, 322 Center St., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.431.2784
Healdsburg Olive Oil Co., 116 Matheson St., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.433.8499
Oakville Grocery, 124 Matheson St., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.433.3200
Portalupi, 107 North St., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.395.0960
Thumbprint Cellars, 102 Matheson St., Healdsburg, Calif. PH: 707.433.2393
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