Best Winery Gardens in Healdsburg with Sensory Adventures
The most beloved plant in Wine Country is arguably a grapevine, but that doesn’t mean ornamental flowers and vegetables don’t get a chance to share the spotlight. Biodiversity has been a central philosophy at several wineries for years, whose owners pride themselves in cultivating acres of vegetables, flowers and fruits other than grapes to support the overall ecosystem. And while many winery gardens can be observed as a lovely backdrop for a wine tasting, only a handful of wineries have gone to the lengths of creating immersive, educational experiences that combine wine tasting with ecological garden tours. As a budding garden designer, I’m enthralled by gardens that tell a story and enlighten those who walks their rows in ways other than design. Here are the best winery gardens in Healdsburg offering sensory adventures to excite more than your taste buds.
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Winner of Pollinator Partnership’s 2022 Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award, Jordan offers two different experiences to explore the wild and cultivated gardens located across its 1,200-acre estate. The Estate Tour & Tasting ($160), hosted from summer until fall, takes guests on a guided walk through the chef’s one-acre prolific vegetable garden to pick raspberries and taste fresh herbs, before passing by a stunning cutting garden filled with David Austin Roses, dahlias and more. A driver shuttles visitors past two lakes where resident egrets hunt and three pollinator sanctuaries to provide habitat for native bees, moths, birds and butterflies, including the Western Monarch. This intriguing tour of Healdsburg winery gardens and natural habitat culminates with a seated food and wine pairing at Jordan’s highest hilltop, surrounded by a pollinator garden filled with native plants. The mountaintop view is just as dreamy as the wines, and sometimes owner John Jordan drops by in his ATV to say hello. Nature Hikes ($125) across Jordan Estate and through its gardens are also offered each spring when wildflowers spotting season is in full bloom.
Jordan Vineyard & Winery, 1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, CA, jordanwinery.com
Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards
This winery has been tucked away in its namesake appellation since 1972, and the founders put as much care into the design of Chalk Hill’s estate gardens as they did its vineyards. Current owner Bill Foley has continued to invest in the grounds, the wines and the hospitality, and now offers two winery garden tour experiences, just 20 minutes from downtown Healdsburg. The Estate & Garden Hummer Tour & Tasting ($105) features an open-air ride to explore the biodiversity of flora and fauna that culminates in the heart of the winery’s four acres of culinary gardens. There, the gardener personally guides guests through Chalk Hill’s bounty before garden-to-table bites are served. Hosted on set days in spring and summer, the new Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard & Garden Hike Series with Lunch ($150) takes wine lovers on a guided hike–led by the vineyard manager himself—through the estate vineyards, natural habitat and culinary gardens to feed your senses with nature before a seated lunch and wine pairing. Like Jordan, Chalk Hill is a vast, ecological diverse estate (1,300 acres), so the gardens change with every visit.
Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards, 10300 Chalk Hill Rd , Healdsburg, CA, chalkhill.com
Most people know Medlock Ames as the historic, farmhouse-style tasting room that anchors the intersection of two wine roads in Alexander Valley. But the soul of this organic producer is Bell Mountain Ranch, a serene property tucked away in the hills of the nearby Chalk Hill appellation. The 338-acre estate is mostly preserved woodland habitat, though the owners have thoughtfully planted a diverse farmstead at different sites, including 44 acres of vineyards, hundreds of olive trees, an orchard, and a market garden for seasonal vegetables and flowers. Guests can sate all senses through the Bell Mountain Ranch Immersive Sound Experience ($75), a private tasting that explores the sights, sounds and tastes of the property. The experience begins with a self-guided walking tour that is amplified by headsets with vivid audio storytelling, all enjoyed at your own pace. In one mile of ground, tens of fascinating facts about the ecosystems, plants and sustainability are shared. Afterward, a host guides the guests through a flight of five estate wines. Offered seven days a week, year-round.
Medlock Ames, 13414 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg, CA, medlockames.com
One of our favorite wineries to recommend right outside of downtown Healdsburg, DaVero is a charmingly quaint, tiny winery surrounded by a sprawling farm filled with flowers, vegetables, animals (piglet season is a must-see), olive trees for their delicious olive oil and grapevines, of course. Proprietors Ridgely Evers and Colleen McGlynn are committed to biodynamic farming for their wines and cultivating an ecologically diverse environment around their grapevines, so the tasting experience is always enlightening. Discover the Farm ($60) allows guests to explore regenerative farming and biodynamics through a walking tour through the gardens, led by a host. Under the shade of an open-air garden building or nestled in the garden at your own private table, this experience concludes with a tasting of DaVero’s Italian varietal wines, award-winning olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and seasonal bites.
DaVero Farms & Winery, 766 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA, davero.com
Seasonal creeks and riparian corridors run through Quivira, and like DaVero, its winemaking is guided by a sustainable, holistic approach to growing wines organically. The front yard of the winery and tasting room is a lush, organic garden with more than 100 raised beds, planted with a series of heritage fruits, vegetables and herbs. Each plant has an identification sign that describes it, what it tastes like and/or how it can be used in cooking. Guests who book tastings ($35-$45) are encouraged to explore the gardens on their own, though the winery hopes to bring back its Estate Tour this year, a guided, in-depth look at holistic farming, sustainability and organic winemaking, all paired with charcuterie and wine. Did we mention there are chickens?
Quivira Vineyards, 4900 W Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA, quivirawine.com
Flowers, Ferrari-Carano and Medlock Ames also have lovely winery gardens near Healdsburg to admire without an immersive experience. Venturing outside the Healdsburg area? Two of the most well-known wine brands in Sonoma County, Kendall-Jackson and Benziger Family Winery, also offer educational tours of their winery gardens. There are also many other beautiful winery gardens in Sonoma County to enjoy without a guide. For a complete list of winery gardens in Sonoma County, visit Sonoma magazine.
Dive deeper into eco wine tours and other intriguing experiences with our Unusual Wine Tours blog.