I wandered into the Siduri tasting room on a cold, rainy day in Healdsburg purely for the atmosphere. Comfy couches, warm lighting, it was the perfect ambiance I was looking for. As further luck would have it, I just happened to be the only customer, so the two tasting room staff members were more than happy to give me a bit of one-on-one attention as we all tasted through the winery’s current line up.
A tasting at Siduri is a study in Pinot Noir — because that’s all they make. They’ll start you with the open-textured and elegant offerings from the Willamette and slowly walk south, through all the major winemaking regions of California. The last stop will be Santa Barbara County’s Sta. Rita Hills AVA — and though they source from several vineyards in the area, I found the 2014 Pinot Noir from John Sebastiano Vineyard the most unique Pinot in my entire tasting that day.
For this year’s Thanksgiving week, I want to dedicate a few posts to those in the wine industry for whom I am grateful. During my time at this year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference (WBC17), I had the opportunity to spend some time with one of my favorite winery’s, Jordan Winery, located on Alexander Valley Road, just north of downtown Healdsburg. What I love about this winery is not just their amazing wines (indeed, their focused Cabernet Sauvignon is some of the most balanced I’ve experienced), but the true sense of welcome every time I walk through the winery’s doors or participate in one of their events.
“We like to say we do three things here at Jordan Winery: Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Hospitality.” –John Jordan
Downtown Healdsburg has turned into a foodie’s haven. Critically-acclaimed restaurants with top chefs are found, often, right next door to each other. So how does one choose? Sometimes it’s a matter of booking your table for two months in advance. Other times it means settling for an awkward 5pm or 9:15pm dinner rez. And, yet, my favorite maintains the secret third option: walking in to the least crowded restaurant when your stomach tells you it’s time to eat. Welcome to Cafe Lucia.
I love wondering around downtown Healdsburg — wonderful people, beautiful scenery, and you’ll never go hungry and definitely not thirsty. Sure, those of you who stomp the Sonoma grounds often may have your favorite Healdsburg haunts. But I say half the fun is walking into a place you have no idea what it is and giving it a go. That’s how I found The Gallery Bar & Bistro.
Even if you’ve looked up the restaurant and planned your reservations in advance, it can be all too easy to miss SHED in the thriving downtown Healdsburg restaurant scene. It’s just off the main drag, far enough down the block that you can’t quite see it and — oh yeah — it’s shaped like a SHED.
If it weren’t for the al fresco seating out front, you could easily mistake the building for a furniture shop or even a warehouse. But once you’ve found it, you’ve found a slice of foodie heaven.