Suggest you stay in Healdsburg and concentrate on Russian River Valley and West Dry Creek Road area.

Wineries that are a must:
David Coffaro -- appt.
Everett Ridge
Philip Staley -- appt.
A Raffanelli -- Appt.
Iron Horse
Lambert Bridge
Ferari Carano for the gardens
Jordan -- appt.
Chalk Hill -- appt.
Limmerick Lane
Christopher Creek
Mueller -- appt.
Nalle -- appt.
That's just to name a few.

There are many wonderful restuarants in the area as well.

And remember: Life's too short to drink bad wine.
We are staying several nights in Healdsburg and have on the list to visit so far:
Clos du Bois
Silver Oak
Marietta (if he's there)
Chateau Souverain
Thanks for the other suggestions. I'll check on appointments.
This is our 2nd trip to wine country. Last year we stayed more in Napa with only 2 nights in Healdsburg. This year we're reversing it with only 2 nights in Yountville.
It seems to be a nice, quiet time to visit and you can spend more time in the tasting rooms; although we did run into some that were closed.
I agree with VV on the Michel Schlumberger suggetion, but be aware that you do need to make an appt.

Stop in and see the fine folks at Everett Ridge also, over in the Dry Creek area. I think you will be impressed.

Once ... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days. - W. C. Fields
[QUOTE]Originally posted by wino4ever:
If you are staying in Healdsburg by all means don't forget Rosenblum on the Plaza and a pint of Racer 5 IPA at the Bear.


The Racer 5 is more of a summer beer. I prefer the Red Rocket this time of year. Wink

Best beer on the planet IMO.
Healdsburg area has a few good places for lunch.

I'm big on lunches. Smile

Tacqueria El Sombrero for awesome (and I do mean, awesome) mexican food.
Dry Creek General Store (on Dry Creek Road, kinda in between healdsburg and geyserville) for some slammin deli sammiches.
Bistro Ralph for a good little sitdown quasi fine dining setting (if you wan tto spend money).

Just save your money and stay away, far far away from Dry Creek Kitchen. That's all I really have to say on Healdsburg eats. Smile

AIM: Drunken Mariachi
Last year we visited MANY wineries in Sonoma and Napa Valley. The one that stuck out the most as a class act, and free though you need an appt, is Jordan Winery. This one is HIGHLY recommended. Aside form great wine the staff is very knowledgable and friendly.

Enjoy Smile
I think most of these suggestions are good. I live in the bay area, and enjoy Sonoma quite a bit.

A Raffanelli
Silver Oak, Sonoma (around Geyserville, not the Napa one, it's just less crowded here.
Hartford Court

Definitely check out A Raffanelli. You can only get their wines at the winery, by shipment, or restaurants, they do not sell to retailers. Very nice Zins.

Occasionally I go down Alexander Valley Road, and try some of Johnsons wine. This wine borders on cheap, and sometimes is very good. I also will stop by Sausal when I'm going that way, and Field Stone that was mentioned.
kpak and winebibber,

As a resident of Healdsburg (as of this thursday!- I love being able to say that) I would recommend the following:
Restaurants: You have to go to Ravenous, great comfort food with flare.

Spend the day on West Dry Creek Road with Everett Ridge, Lambert Bridge - no appointment needed. Call for appointments and enjoy good wine and good company with Rick at Amphora; A. Rafanelli, and Schlumberger.

You might want to skip Simi and Clos du Bois in favor of the smaller more personal wineries.

A meal is not a meal without wine; thus I skip breakfast.
Vinous -

Sorry you had a bad experience at Jordan. They were great with us. In fact, they couldn't do enough to make us feel more welcome.

If you buy wine at their winery it is pricey. Their wine can be had for about $12 LESS than they sell it for at the winery. Your right, it is a very good wine. I have had lesser wines for more money, unfortunately. When I find wine that is consistently good I stay with it. I am really looking forward to their 2001.
In Sonoma itself, Della Santina's Trattoria is a great place to go for italian food. Not sure if they're still doing it, but in January 2003 they had a special "Tuesday Night in Tuscany" deal which was a 4-course pre-fix meal WITH wines for $50 each. It was fantastic food with wonderfully matched wines for a great price!

If you happen to go to Sebastiani winery, try to get them to pour you stuff that's not on their list. Last year we lingered and the lady found an open bottle of their Cherryblock Cab to pour for us. Wow was that good!

On the list so far:
Chateau Souverain
Clos du Bois
Chalk Hill - appt requested
Silver Oak

Napa Side:
Pine RidgePlumpjack
Neal - have appt
Pride - have appt
St Clement
Freemark Abbey
Chateau Montelena

Thanks for all the great suggestions. Let's hope the weather holds.

por vino
Nice thread. But a few things I have noted, and have questions about. Is Field Stone doing better? We used to go there all the time when they first opened, but after management changes, they tried to make too many different wines, with the tour busses blowing in and out, and the wine slipped badly. Have not been there for a bunch of years. What is looking good there now??

Does A. Raf have his 01 cabs out now for sale at the winery? We will be in that winery during the Russian River Barrel Tasting Days the first part of March, and hope to get some then.
"Wine Makes Everyone Hopeful"---Aristotle or Plato

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