Just a few weekends ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Healdsburg, CA. It had been several years since I was in California and it honestly felt nice to visit for a weekend. I forgot how much I love Northern California and why I went to college out there. We made the obligatory stop at In n Out, but after our tummy’s were full with burgers and fries we headed up to beautiful wine country for our weekend filled with laughter, music and rosé. The ultimate reason for the trip was to celebrate a bachelorette tying the knot, and the town of Healdsburg ended up being the perfect setting for our celebration.
Due to having a larger group of girls we decided to rent an entire house. The place we were lucky enough to stay at was beautiful and accommodating. There were plenty of rooms, a large kitchen to cook, living room to play games and dance around in, not to mention the pool/hot tub in the back to lounge around by. If you are planning a similar trip for a special occasion I highly recommend seeing if you can rent out the same house we did; click here to view.
Friday we all got settled into the house and immediately took advantage of the 80 degree weather and pool. It was the perfect way for California to welcome our arrival and detox from the long cross country plane ride. For dinner we had several options on the table pending weather. Luckily the weather held up so we were able to dine at Campo Fina in downtown Healdsburg. They were wonderful in accommodating a large party; they placed us in their backyard patio area right by the bocce ball court. Our dinner was delicious. We opted to do family style and ordered an assortment of dishes to share with one another along with bottles of wine. Campo Fina ended up being the perfect place to grab dinner, not just for a big group like ours but also for much smaller groups.
Saturday was our big wine tasting day! We had reservations at three different wineries spread throughout the day. Our first stop was Red Car Wine in Sebastopol, CA. Right as we entered, Michael our server, was ready for us with a line of glasses filled with rosé. In all honesty I have never been the biggest fan of the style but this particular bottle converted me. I have already searched for places in Brooklyn that would happen to sell it. The exact rosé we had is linked here.
The decor of the winery was just up our alley. In my opinion it had a little Brooklyn feel which I always love. The different wines we tasted were all amazing. I particularly enjoyed the Pinot Noirs. Below are the exact wines we tasted if you want to try something from this winery. If you happen to be in the area though I do suggest visiting their tasting room directly, and make sure Michael assists you. He was very enjoyable and knowledgeable for our tasting.
Here is a list of the wines we tasted here:
- 2016 Rose of Pinot Noir
- 2013 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay
- 2013 Hagan Vineyard Pinot Noir
- 2013 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
- 2012 Estate Vineyard Syrah
After we had a little picnic to make sure our bellies were full we ventured on to our next tasting at Quivira Vineyards & Winery. This winery was utterly breathtaking. They had a table reserved for our party right underneath their olive trees whose fruit were served with the tasting. Unfortunately they don’t sell them to go, I was wanting to bring home a jar so badly. Our server Alec was a delight and was throwing pun after pun keeping us entertained. His sense of humor combined with the golden-doodle that crashed our tasting may have made this the group’s favorite stop of the weekend.
Here is a list of the wines we tasted here:
- Fig Tree
- Petite Sirah
Last stop of the day was Mill Creek Vineyards. After doing research beforehand I was particularly excited for this winery due to the setting and pictures I saw of the vineyard. The main facility is a beautiful rustic barn house with a water mill on the side and an outdoor patio area to sit and overlook the surrounding vineyards. However this vineyard ended up being a bit of a disappointment. We were a few minutes behind for our reservation and during our entire tasting the group felt a bit rushed by our server. We kept feeling like they wanted us to finish our tasting as fast as we could and leave. We weren’t able to enjoy the vineyard as much as we would’ve liked.
Here is the list of wines we tasted here:
- 2015 Chardonnay
- 2014 Reserve Chardonnay
- 2014 Pinot Noir
- 2013 Zinfandel
- 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Tipsy and happy we headed back to the house where a majority of the girls and the bride to be were surprised to see dinner was being prepared for us by a local catering couple. My thoughts while planning out the weekend was we all would be exhausted from the day of wine tasting and no one would want to cook for a big group like ours. Quivira Vineyards suggested I hire Odd Couple Catering and I could not thank them enough. They were so patient and accommodating during our months of emailing back and forth. They went above and beyond for the night and customized a menu specifically for the group: southern themed cuisine. The appetizers and meal were exquisite. Another recommendation if you are spending the weekend in the area and need something catered. They were truly a delight to work with.
Due to all of us being hard working professional women our trip had to be short but sweet. We all had flights out of SFO Sunday afternoon but on our way out of town we decided to make one last wine tasting stop: Banshee Wines in downtown Healdsburg. This winery was by far my favorite — not just in wine but also aesthetic. It has a southwestern decor that just made my heart flutter and the wines we tasted were so divine that those of us that traveled in from New York ordered a case of things to be delivered to Brooklyn. Still awaiting the arrival of those but I’m excited to have their wine again.
I think it’s fair to say all of us would’ve loved to stay longer and explore more of Healdsburg and visit other wineries. It was the perfect little weekend getaway and a wonderful way to celebrate a bachelorette party. Healdsburg has already been added to my list of places to travel to in hopes of revisiting and exploring the surrounding area more.