Visit the Best Wineries in Healdsburg
Healdsburg has so many good things going for it—a small-town vibe, a laundry list of exceptional bars, restaurants and shops clustered around the town square—but its biggest asset, arguably, is the fact that this wine country town lives at the intersection of three, top Sonoma County wine regions: Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley. I’ve lived in Sonoma County for 17 years, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a day (or three) than exploring wine regions by day and hopping from bar to restaurant to bar at night on the Healdsburg Plaza. Here’s my list of the best Healdsburg wineries to visit and why.
The Best Wineries in Healdsburg
- Jordan Vineyards & Winery
- MacRostie Winery
- Silver Oak Winery
- Seghesio Family Vineyards
- Copain Wines
- Ridge Vineyards
- Idlewild Wines
- Reeve Wines
- Lioco Wine Company
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
No visit to my town is complete without spending an afternoon at the 1,200-acre estate at Jordan Winery. Located five miles north of downtown Healdsburg, this pioneer in culinary hospitality and elegant wine raised the bar in wine excursions with the Estate Tour & Tasting debut in 2014. During this three-hour, food-and-wine-pairing experience, you visit their garden, lakes and vineyards and then soak in incredible views at Vista Point, Jordan’s highest hilltop at 700 feet elevation. It’s an ideal backdrop for a gourmet food and wine pairing with chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, their flagship wines. Executive Chef Todd Knoll carefully curates the seasonal menu to work seamlessly with the meal. If you don’t have the luxury of three hours (how sad!), their Winery Tour and Library Tasting is only 90 minutes but equally as luxurious. It includes a stroll through the chateau, a long pause to enjoy the scenic views overlooking the gardens and vineyards, and culminates in the cellar room for a seated wine and hors d’oeuvres pairing. Hilltop vineyard tastings are also hosted May through October. Jordan also hosts really interesting events throughout the year, such as winery picnic lunches and tasting menu dinners, so don’t miss those. (Okay, I might be a little biased, but I actually knew very little about winery when I started working here 10 years ago, and I continue to be impressed with the new experiences the hospitality staff dreams up. I’m often told that Jordan is a benchmark for guest experiences, and as a platinum member of Jordan Estate Rewards, I agree.) Reservations are required. $35-$125
Steve Macrostie has been making chardonnay and pinot noir since 1974. In 2015, he opened a gorgeous property with expansive views of Russian River Valley, 5 miles south of Healdsburg. The 20-acre property includes Thale’s Vineyard, an estate pinot noir vineyard named after Steve’s wife. This stunning and innovative Estate House has quickly gained a loyal following and a best winery in Healdsburg designation from me for attentive hospitality and beautiful single-vineyard pinot noirs. They offer two tastings. In the Seated Tasting, guests choose from two curated flights and, when weather allows, they open up the glass walls so you feel like you’re sipping in the vineyards. The Elevated Tasting is only available on Sundays, and includes six wines–an array of chardonnays and pinot noirs from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, including single-vineyard bottlings. The wines are complemented by locally sourced paired bites, Healdsburg-made salumis, artisan cheese and chocolate. These limited events are typically hosted in the private room, which opens to a side terrace overlooking hillside vines, but guests can also request one of the three tables on its front terrace. Reservations are highly recommended and required for the Elevated Tasting. $35- $75.
Silver Oak Alexander Valley
Born in a dairy barn in 1972 in Napa Valley, Silver Oak focuses exclusively on one varietal: cabernet sauvignon, and the founders, the Duncan family, still runs the operation. Their relatively new Alexander Valley outpost is located 10 minutes east of downtown Healdsburg. A state-of-the-art green winery, the building is LEED-certified, open and modern. They host four different experiences but the Silver Oak Food & Wine Pairing Tour is not to be missed. It begins with a tour of this architectural marvel, their estate vineyard and culinary gardens and then moves on to the best part: a four-course, educational wine-and-food pairing featuring current release Silver Oak and sister-winery Twomey wines paired with locally sourced bites. Their other offering is The Silver Tour and Taste and features a guided walk through the facility and the sustainably farmed vineyards, culminating in a sampling of three Napa and Sonoma Cabernets held in the wine library. $30-$90
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Founded pre-Prohibition by an Italian immigrant, Seghesio proudly carries on the sacred tradition of food and wine pairing at their historic winery just outside of Healdsburg. They specialize in zinfandel but have a wine geeky list of Italian varietal wines, ranging from dry Arneis to robust Aglianico. It’s a perfect place to explore new wines. Seghesio makes it easy for you at their intimate Chef’s Table that pairs these Italian varietals, plus zinfandel, with four seasonal dishes. Executive Chef Peter Janiak changes the menu seasonally and sources ingredients from their estate garden. But also don’t miss sampling Janiak’s housemade salumi. You can add on an antipasto board featuring his charcuterie as well as local cheeses to the Classic Tasting and in their private tastings, where your entire stay is curated. The atmosphere at Seghesio is warm, friendly and welcoming. A definite not miss. $20-$80
Established in 1999, Copain echoes the French sentiment that wine enhances life’s happiest occasions with friends and family. Their wines reveal restraint and elegance with lower-alcohol syrahs, pinot noirs and chardonnay as the focus. Situated high on a hill in the Russian River area, their contemporary farmhouse tasting room is located about 10 minutes from downtown Healdsburg. They offer three seated options, which all require reservations: Farm Table Tasting, Reserve and a Comparative Library Tasting. The Farm Table Tasting takes place at one of their (you guessed it) farm tables in a communal setting. You’ll enjoy five, single-vineyard wines, accompanied by a plated food pairing consisting of artisanal cheeses, fruit, and charcuterie. The Reserve and Library tastings are both private experiences showcasing their limited release wines and also paired with a curated plate of snacks. Copain is a laid-back winery with glorious views that’s best enjoyed from the Adirondack chairs across from the entrance. These are generally reserved for members, but if it’s not too busy, those lounges become available on a first-come, first-serve basis with a reservation. $40-$90
Definitely one of the best Healdsburg wineries in downtown, Idlewild has a casual, cool vibe in their spot right off the square. They focus on Italian varietal wines grown in California and they do an amazing job with their wines. The atmosphere feels more like a wine bar than a tasting room, which I like. Cozy nooks and living room style service make you feel like family, and owner Sam Bilbro is often present to say hello. You can order up cheese and salumi platters to pair with your Idlewild Flight, which can be customized. Or book The Idlewild Table, their elevated experience that focuses on the art of pairing wine with food. The winery works closely with local purveyors to source favorite charcuterie, artisanal cheeses, and other bites to creatively match with their full lineup of wines. If you’re seeking a more intimate gathering, Idlewild also makes private experiences available. Reservations suggested. $20-$45
With deep roots in the Dry Creek Valley, Ridge Vineyards has been crafting authentic, “hand-off” wines since the late 1800s. Cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel make up the majority of their full-bodied wines but they also produce syrah, grenache, carignane, petite sirah and chardonnay. Perched on a ridge with sprawling vineyard views, their Lytton Springs estate is surrounded by 115 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards, many of which are low-lying, gnarly old vines that emerge mysteriously from the ground. Primarily solar-powered, their building is built from straw bales and vineyard clay, something Ridge is very proud of–and should be. They have four different offerings: wine flights in their tasting room or terrace, Estate Tour and Tasting, The Century Tour and Library Tasting, and their Monte Bello Cabernet Tasting. The Estate Tour and Tasting meanders through their century-old vines, exploring the rich history of Ridge Vineyards and their historic Lytton Springs property and winemaking facility. The walk concludes with a seated tasting in a private room, with side-by-side comparisons of single-vineyard, estate wines, including their celebrated Monte Bello Cabernet. The Century Tour and Library Tasting adds an element of surprise where you can compare older vintages with their current counterparts. Their Monte Bello Cabernet Tasting provides a deep dive into the Monte Bello vineyard in a seated, private tasting experience. When the weather’s nice, bring a picnic and enjoy their outside terrace for your tasting. Very fun and educational. $10-$60
A short drive from downtown Healdsburg sits the Reeve 55-acre estate and chic tasting room–an open-air and modern-rustic veranda with sweeping views of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Noah and Kelly Dorrance are the husband and wife collaborative team that run Reeve Wines; Noah operates the winemaking side while Kelly manages the hospitality program and tasting room design. They produce wines primarily from Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, and the Sonoma Coast regions that include rosé of pinot noir, a dry riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, a carbonic sangiovese from Chalk Hill and (one of my favorites) the Libertine red blend. The low-key yet elevated vibe at Reeve is truly unique–with small seasonal bites to accompany every tasting. Be sure to check out their villa on property too, a four-bedroom suite with panoramic views of Dry Creek Valley. There’s even a pool. Tastings by appointment only, open seven days a week. $35-$50.
Lioco Wine Company
Situated across the street from downtown Healdsburg’s Oakville Grocery, Lioco’s vibrant and modern tasting room is hard to miss when strolling around the town square. Owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Matt and Sara Licklider, the two produce wines spanning from Santa Cruz to Mendocino with an emphasis on chardonnay, pinot noir, and carginan. Lioco offers four different tasting experiences–three of which are available for walk-ins and the fourth called, The Board Room Experience which guides guests through library, large format and off-menu wines in their private modern lounge. Enjoy the Deep End, Headwaters or Omakase (Japanese for “I’ll leave it up to you”) wine flights at the bar, street-view banquette or high round tables. During the warmer months, you can find their banquette windows wide open and hear their old-school vinyl spinning. Don’t miss their upcoming events at the tasting room and around Sonoma County–available to their mailing list only. Walk-ins welcome, reservations suggested. $20-$65.