to Healdsburg we go

March 14, 2017

We know we're lucky.  We can head north, south, east, or west and whichever way we go, we'll hit beautiful country. It could be the mountains or the coast, but whatever direction we choose, we're also certain to hit wine country.

A few weeks ago we trekked north to visit the Dry Creek area of Healdsburg.  Our famous Napa-Sonoma-Mendocino wine country is vast, so it's practical to visit only a small portion of it at a time.  

We headed north and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and that's when I feel that the vacation has really begun.  Our first stop was to the old chicken town of Petaluma.  We stopped for lunch at yummy Topsy's and then walked to Knitterly, where I received a stern reminder:  Remember, only ONE knit store on this trip. It's a fantastic shop, so knitters, do not pass this beauty up.  Next we walked two blocks over to the famous Seed Bank.  Gardeners, this is NOT to be missed. You'll die and think you're in seed heaven, and you are.  

Good hotels, restaurants, and wineries are abundant in the Dry Creek area.  Here's the links to our two day wine tasting trip.

 Checked into Madrona Manor

then a snack and a poke around the Dry Creek General Store.  
First winery: Dry Creek Vineyard, the second oldest winery in the Dry Creek area.
A quiet day meant our host had time to give us a tour and 
share the rich history of the winery and the Dry Creek Valley.

Valette for dinner, a perennial favorite of ours.  

 Next day, lunch at the historic Jimtown Store.
Then a visit to Medlock-Ames Winery,
 Ferrari-Carano Winery for beautiful setting and gardens,
 and the beautiful Coppola Winery in Geyserville to see some props from his movies.
(Not to be confused with the historic Inglenook Winery Francis Ford Coppola
bought in the 70s and restored beautifully.
You'll find that in Rutherford, about an hour's drive away.)

Perhaps the highlight of the trip for me was a visit to
Preston Farm and Winery, another early Dry Creek winery,
completely organic with estate grown wine, produce stand and bakery.  
Don't be afraid of the seemingly endless bumpy road, you'll be glad at the end!

After a little rest, we headed to Willi's for a glass of bubbly and a plate of oysters 
before dinner at Kinsmoke for over-the-top BBQ.

Next day, before we headed for home, we walked around the town square and popped into
a lovely fabric store, Fabrications and Plaza Gourmet, a great kitchen store.
The amazing Oakville Grocery in Oakville (near Yountville) has
a little sister shop on the Healdsburg Square so I wouldn't miss that.
Also in town but not on the square is a friendly little knitting shop,
Purls of Joy.  My guy allowed me to break his rule and have a wee visit!

Naturally there are oodles of other wineries and sights to see, but with only a two night stay, we tried to keep it manageable and fun.  We enjoy lingering at wineries, poking around gardens, and getting tours when they'll give them. The wine country can get terribly crowded, so we always travel off-season, mid-week.  I hope you get to visit the Dry Creek Valley and Healdsburg.  It's a lovely little pocket of Northern California's wine country.

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  1. Divine. One of my dream vacations!

  2. Thank you for a delightful photo album of your special journey to Healdsburg. Healdsburg looks like one delightful area and a piece of heaven to me. I am smiling from ear to ear and thank you for a most pleasant start for my long day. I do hope that I too in the future am able to visit Preston Farm, the Seed Bank, Knitterly, the Dry Creek General Store, Plaza Gourmet and of course the wineries too.

  3. Thank you and what a feast for my eyes. I order yarn from Knitterly all the time, so very fun to see the store in all it's glory.

    1. I have ordered from Purl Soho and Jimmy Beans many times before, so the first time I visited their stores I remember being so enchanted! I had in my mind that Purl Soho was HUGE, but really it's a tiny speck of a store. Their warehouse, which must be huge, is located elsewhere. However, Jimmy Beans is entirely different. Their store AND warehouse are located in the same spot (or at least it was 6 mos. ago) and they let you wander through BOTH. It's heaven! Knitterly is a beautiful knit store located in a pretty little town. Absolutely delightful!

  4. Hi Kristen.
    I love shops like those. I really like to support the local shops. Looks like you had fun.

    1. Yep, me too. I love local shops. They add so much character, let alone, foot traffic and commerce to a small town. Bless those who run small stores and bless those who support them!

  5. I used to go up to Healdsburg a lot when my dad and his friends had potlucks. Never explored the town but oh boy did the yarn store and the fabric catch my eye in this post!


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