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The wife & I and a couple of friends are heading to the West coast for a few days, including 3 nights in Sonoma in July.  Staying in Healdsburg at a VRBO.  I've never really been to Sonoma, nor am I well-versed on the wines (I have a basic knowledge, it's just not my region).

I'm looking for winery tour suggestions.  For variety I woud like to visit something really good, something really scenic, and something a bit touristy (for contrast).  Our friends aren't really winos, but they'll definitely drink and enjoy wine.  I am looking for maybe 4-6 wineries total to go to over a couple of days.

Any help would be appreciated.  Does anyone have recent firsthand experience there?

TIA

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@grossie posted:

The wife & I and a couple of friends are heading to the West coast for a few days, including 3 nights in Sonoma in July.  Staying in Healdsburg at a VRBO.  I've never really been to Sonoma, nor am I well-versed on the wines (I have a basic knowledge, it's just not my region).

I'm looking for winery tour suggestions.  For variety I woud like to visit something really good, something really scenic, and something a bit touristy (for contrast).  Our friends aren't really winos, but they'll definitely drink and enjoy wine.  I am looking for maybe 4-6 wineries total to go to over a couple of days.

Any help would be appreciated.  Does anyone have recent firsthand experience there?

TIA

Grossie,

A few ideas for you.  In downtown Healdsburg there are a few nice winery tasting facilities (Stone Street (KJ), Murphy-Goode, Selby among others around the square. Certainly go to Ferrari-Carano on Dry Creek Rd...beautiful place especially for non-wine people.  You can always make an appointment at Jordan.  You'll enjoy Sonoma...great spot.

Given that your friends are not seriously into wine, I’d recommend Domaine Carneros. They do flights of sparkling, which are fun for most people, and the gardens are beautiful, as is the chateau. Wines are pretty good (I believe they’re a division of Taittinger). They can be Quite busy, so good idea to make a reservation.

it’s a bit of a drive from Healdsburg— around 10-15 miles I think— but Martinelli has some pretty good Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs. I think it’s worth going, but YMMV.

I’d also recommend lunch or dinner at The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma just off the central plaza.  Good food, good wine list, fair prices. And if the weather’s decent, nice to walk around the perimeter of the plaza. You’ll find some good ice cream around there too.

Beautiful area to visit. We were last there in 2019, a few months before travel turned to $hit.  Hope you have a great time there, grossie!

Last edited by seaquam

Thanks Napa and Seaq!  Some great ideas in there.

I like the idea of Martinelli and of Domaine Carneros.  It's always fun to drink sparkling wine and to teach some non-winos how that stuff is made.  One of my favorite Napa tours has been Schramsberg.  Their wine is good and the tour is cool. 

I'll also make sure to get to Murphy-goode, for some reason I have a soft spot for them.  I think I discovered their wines early in my wine career and they were better than most of the other plonk I had been drinking at the time.

Seaq- great to converse again.  Would be nice to meet up again at some point.  Hope all is well with you on the West coast of my home and native land.

@grossie posted:

Thanks Napa and Seaq!  Some great ideas in there.

I like the idea of Martinelli and of Domaine Carneros.  It's always fun to drink sparkling wine and to teach some non-winos how that stuff is made.  One of my favorite Napa tours has been Schramsberg.  Their wine is good and the tour is cool.

I'll also make sure to get to Murphy-goode, for some reason I have a soft spot for them.  I think I discovered their wines early in my wine career and they were better than most of the other plonk I had been drinking at the time.

Seaq- great to converse again.  Would be nice to meet up again at some point.  Hope all is well with you on the West coast of my home and native land.

I’ll second the Martinelli visit…they make really good wine.  And not “overly” pricey. Enjoy!  One more would be DeLoach…Domaine Carneros is also pretty fun and beautiful.  Casual lunch at the Dry Creek General store is fun as well.  

Domaine Carneros (though a bit of a trek) and Martinelli are good suggestions for your group.

I would absolutely try to get an appointment at Cobb Wine. Those are *really good* wines and they offer private (only) tours and tasting by appointment.

If you wanted another suggestion, Merry Edwards is always a quick and easy stop for some good juice.  But it’s not too pretty or overly touristy (and it isn’t on the same level as, for example, Cobb) but it’s easy and always seems to be a crowd pleaser.

I don’t know if they do tastings, but I noticed Anthill’s address is in the town of Healdsburg and it is an exceptional (and well priced for its quality) winery with a wide variety of Pinot Noirs and some Syrah. (I got into their wines only in the past three years.)

FYI: Cobb and Anthill are definitely both on the lower octane, more Burgundian, whole cluster type end of the spectrum. (Which is my preferred style.)

Last edited by winetarelli

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