TRUTH BE TOLD...I DON'T OFTEN REACH FOR A WHITE WINE
If I want a cool glass of something on a warm day or something to complement a lighter dish, I'll pop a bottle of sparkling or a rosé. I don't know what it is I have against white wine. Particularly, Chardonnay. It's just not my go-to.
Many friends tell me they only drink white wine to avoid "wine headaches". God forbid this ever happen to me.
But if it does, count on a ridiculous estate sale featuring an incredible pinot collection.
Arista may be known for their pinots but they also pour some very nice whites, chardonnay included.
If you want something special, reserve a private "Taste of Terroire" tasting. It's so well done and a fine touch when hosting guests from out of town or if you're visiting and want an elevated experience.
Their website discourages groups of more than 8 and specifically bachelorette/bachelor parties, which I find humorous. And awesome.
7015 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, CA
Small producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel on the former site of Davis Bynum Winery.
The people here are as awesome as the wine. Their wine club has great perks. And they rent out their facilities for private parties. And they have a cave!
This is a nice place to bring a picnic or snacks. They also have several cottages available for rent.
Another reason to join their wine club...
8075 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA
Taste award winning chardonnay and cab in a French chateau in the Alexander Valley. Incredible property and an intensive tasting and tour. If you want a special tasting experience, make an appointment here.
They might be known for their pinot but they've been pouring award-winning Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for decades as well.
6192 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA
Open Thursday-Monday, appointment only Tuesday & Wednesday
J Vineyards & Winery
Contemporary tasting room featuring an incredible menu of sparkling, chardonnay and pinot noir wines. For a special occasion--or if you just want to spend an afternoon sipping and pairing wine with food--make a reservation in their Bubble Lounge. A time-worthy experience. Get a driver if you do. Trust me. You'll eat (and drink) a lot more than you think...
11447 Old Redwood Hwy Healdsburg, CA
Lambert Bridge Winery
An awesome crew pours some delicious Bordeaux-varietals at this quintessential Dry Creek Valley tasting room.
Either pop in for a tasting, or call for an appointment to taste the reserves.
Great place to buy a bottle (or 4) and picnic!
One of my favorite new wine tasting rooms. The perfect combination of ambience and hospitality. Lovely pinots and chardonnays. And rosé! They actually greet you at the door with a tasting of rosé.
Who doesn't love that?!
The MacRostie Estate House
4605 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, CA
(707) 473-9303 ~Reservations required on weekends & strongly recommended on weekdays
~Make a reservation online here--call (707) 473-9303 ext.201~
~Or email your reservation request here~
Appointment only (@ 11 am, 12:30 pm, & 2 pm daily, and an additional appointment @ 3:30 pm on Friday, Saturday & Sunday). Call or reserve online here.
3805 Lambert Bridge Road, Healdsburg, CA
Chardonnay, rosé, pinot and syrah are these guys' forté.
Great food & wine pairing available as well.
When you leave here, stop by Mom's Apple Pie and grab a slice. Ohmygod.
8757 Green Valley Road, Sebastopol, CA
These guys are known for their chardonnay and pinot. West county grows some of the best of these grapes. And they are no exception.
3100 Gravenstein Highway North (@ the corner of Hwy 116 & Graton Rd.), Sebastopol, CA
If I had a favorite winery, it might be Lynmar. The tasting room staff is SO fun and knowledgeable and treat their wine-club members like royalty. They just recently began requiring appointments. So...make sure you call ahead. This place is a no-brainer. And one you'll want to visit every time you venture out into the valley.
I want their wine-chilling, glass box they have in the center of their tasting room in my house someday. And just wait until you see their gardens. I die.
They truly are a luxury pinot and chard producer in the Valley.
~call ahead to reserve an awesome picnic prepared by their onsite chef
3909 Frei Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in Sonoma County since the late 1800's. Their finer wines are mostly available exclusively to their mailing list--and it's a worthy list to join. Some of the best wines I've ever poured are made by Martinelli.
3360 River Rd. Windsor, CA
Merry is one of the first female wine-makers, and only one of four who've won a James Beard Award for wine.
She specializes in pinot but also makes a fancy, single vineyard desginate Chardonnay from Olivet Lane Vineyard and a sauvignon blanc. This is a wine you can only find at high end restaurants, boutiquey wine shops or at the winery.
2959 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA
Red Car is unique. A cool gift shop with clever items surround the tasting couches and picture windows. Their wines are some of my favorite daily drinkers and they offer a very thoughtful tasting experience. I also love that it's just a stone's throw from my favorite brunch spot, Willowood. So it's easy to pop in here to kick off your day. Their whites, rosé, pinots and syrahs are very nice.
8400 Graton Rd., Sebastopol, CA
email or (707) 829-8500