Things to Do in Healdsburg
Australian natives and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Bill and Dawn Williamson create their award-winning Sonoma County wines from a dozen of their own sustainably farmed vineyards strung along the Dry Creek Valley, which is famed for it’s wine friendly conditions. With vineyards across three different microclimates, Williamson Wines specializes in many varietals, including Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone style wines. Visitors looking to sample their wines don’t need to venture outside of Healdsburg however, as the winery’s tasting room is located downtown, where tasters can enjoy a complimentary wine sample, or reserve a table to try a more immersive experience, with artfully prepared food and wine pairings, including cheese plates dusted with Williamson’s famous truffle salt.
California's Russian River is one of the longest rivers in the San Francisco Bay Area, beginning in Mendocino County and cutting through Sonoma County on its way to the ocean. The area is famous for its wine and farm-to-table cuisine, and in warm weather the river is a hotspot for outdoor adventures like canoeing, swimming, and fishing.
Tucked into the Alexander Valley, Soda Rock Winery offers a great place to enjoy Sonoma County wines alongside incredible scenery. The winery occupies historic buildings restored with recycled materials, like rock wall that was formerly part of a rural schoolhouse, and the tasting room bar that was salvaged from a local tavern. Current owners Ken and Diane Wilson bought the property in 2000, and create the wines from grapes they source from their vineyards throughout the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys, specializing in Bordeaux varietals like Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Westside Road slices its way through the temperate Russian River Valley, and a stretch that runs parallel to the river is so valued for its grape-growing conditions that it has become known as the Miracle Mile. Make the drive here to find Gracianna Winery, a family-owned vineyard that produces some of the region’s best Pinot Noir. Owned and operated by the Amanda family, the winery produces a handful of award-winning varieties, including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, however, the Pinot Noirs are a consistent favorite with wine critics and visitors alike.