photo collage of outdoor dinner tables and wine glasses and wine bottles

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 & Vineyards
  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley
  • J. Rochioli Vineyards & Winery
  • Seghesio Family Vineyards
  • Lambert Bridge
  • Copain Wines
  • Idlewild Wines
  • Marine Layer Wines
  • Ridge Vineyards
  • Reeve Wines
  • Rodney Strong
  • Lioco Wine Company

 

Bento boxes and Jordan Winery Cabernet

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. If you would like to taste cabernets while overlooking vines, the hilltop vineyard tastings are hosted May through October. Jordan also hosts interesting events throughout the year, such as vineyard hikes and tasting menu dinners, so don’t miss those. (Okay, I might be a little biased, but I actually knew very little about the 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.) Reservations are required. $45-$135

1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-431-5250, jordanwinery.com
MacRostie Elevated Tasting
MacRostie’s Elevated Tasting, a former offering.

MacRostie Winery

Steve MacRostie has been making chardonnay and pinot noir from the Sonoma Coast 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. As of press time (and perhaps due to COVID-19), there was one tasting on the books: the Seated Tasting. During this hour-long experience, 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, one of their former offerings, was only available on Sundays and included six wines–an array of chardonnays and pinot noirs from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, including single-vineyard bottlings. Tastings 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 Seated Tasting. $35

4605 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-473-9303, macrostiewinery.com
Silver Oak Winery Alexander Valley Wineries Tasting Room and Tower
One of the iconic Silver Oak towers stands next to the new winery and tasting room on Highway 128 east of Healdsburg.

Silver Oak Alexander Valley

Born in a dairy barn in 1972 in Napa Valley, Silver Oak focuses exclusively on one varietal: cabernet sauvignon. The founders, the Duncan family, still run 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 seated tasting experiences. All tastings begin with a tour of this architectural marvel, their estate vineyard and culinary gardens and then moves on to the wine. One of the tastings includes wines from Twomey, a sister winery in the Russian River valley. Another tasting includes a sampling of three Napa and Sonoma Cabernets held in the wine library. $40-$95

7300 Highway 128, Healdsburg, CA, 707-942-7082, silveroak.com

J. Rochioli Vineyards & Winery

There are a handful of old-school wineries around Healdsburg that serve as continued connections to the past. Rochioli is one such place. The Rochioli family has been farming grapes in the same Russian River Valley location since the 1930s, making them one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in all of North County. In 1985, Rochioli’s pinot was named the best pinot in America. Since then, the family has focused on hospitality, turning the family compound at a property called Fenton Acres into a visitor center. Today guests can enjoy the Outdoor Estate Flight, which includes chardonnay, pinot, and valdiguie made with grapes from right there on the estate. Tasting flights of single-vineyard blended wines are available as well; both options cost $25 for three or four pours. Perhaps the best thing about visiting Rochioli is the star factor; if you’re lucky you might spot Joe Rochioli wandering around. If you do, you’ll be in the presence of a Healdsburg icon. $25

6192 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-433-2305, rochioliwinery.com
Seghesio makes its charcuterie in-house.

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. Depending on the time of year (and the schedule) Seghesio makes it easy for you at their intimate Chef’s Table that pairs these Italian varietals, plus zinfandel, with four seasonal dishes. Seghesio also offers tastings in the garden, as well as a tasting package that includes time on one of four full-size Bocce courts or in their garden. The atmosphere at Seghesio is warm, friendly and welcoming. A definite not miss. $25-$80

700 Grove Street, Healdsburg, CA, 707-433-3579, seghesio.com
lambert bridge sonoma county winery healdsburg patios
Photo courtesy of Lambert Bridge.

Lambert Bridge

Lambert Bridge is situated at one of the hairpin curves of West Dry Creek Road—naturally, then, everybody slows down to peek. What grabs the attention of passersby (in addition to the wine, of course) is the spectacular garden; a perfect spot for socially distanced wine picnics. The winery also hosts dinners and events in the garden throughout the year. The Barrel Room + Patio Tasting is perhaps the best introduction to the brand with four tastes of single-vineyard wines. For a more sophisticated experience, the Cellar Room Experience (at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily) is more of a sit-down affair, complete with a cheese and charcuterie platter. On most days, winemaker Jennifer Higgins is often flitting about the winery; be on the lookout to stop her and ask her questions if you can. $50-$95

4085 W. Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-431-9600, lambertbridge.com
Healdsburg wineries with a view
Photo courtesy of Jackson Family Wines.

Copain Wines

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. Before COVID-19, Copain offered three seated options; currently, the winery offers only one tasting with five, single-vineyard wines and a 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 plates of snacks. Copain is a laid-back winery with glorious views that are 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. $50-$75

7800 Eastside Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-836-8822, copainwines.com
Wines Charcuterie and Cheese Tasting Healdsburg
Italian varietal wines and italian cheeses are the focus at Idlewild.

Idlewild Wines

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 Piedmont varietal wines grown in California and they do an amazing job. 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 Tasting, which can be customized. 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. $35

132 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA, 707-385-9410, idlewildwines.com
overhead view of white table with red wine glass and food
Photo courtesy of Marine Layer Wines.

Marine Layer Wines

Sonoma Coast wines are on full display at this sparkling new winery right on the Healdsburg Plaza with Banshee Wines alums Baron Ziegler and Rob Fischer. Pinot noir is the star of the show, but the eponymous Marine Layer flight also includes a splash of chardonnay (and, depending on when you visit, a bonus rosé). Guests also can opt for a platter of plant-based spreads from chefs at Little Saint on the other side of town; these goodies usually include pickled veggies, bean spreads, and gluten-free crackers. Before you leave, be sure to check out the ultra-modern shared washroom and take an Instagram photo in front of the wine wall toward the back. $35-$50

308B Center Street, Healdsburg, CA, 707-395-0830, marinelayerwines.com
ridge vineyards outdoor terrace in healdsburg
The terrace at Lytton Springs at Ridge Vineyards.

Ridge Vineyards

With deep roots in the Dry Creek Valley, Ridge Vineyards has been crafting authentic, “hands-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 three different offerings: the 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 an optional splash of 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. Cheese and charcuterie boards are available to add to any tastings. $20-$60

650 Lytton Springs Road, Healdsburg, CA, 408-867-3233, ridgewine.com
person holding two wood-fired pizzas
Photo courtesy of Reeve.

Reeve Wines

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 runs 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, dry riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir, a carbonic sangiovese from Chalk Hill and (one of my favorites) the Libertine red blend (when available). 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 the 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. $45-$60

4551 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA, 707-235-6345, reevewines.com
wall of big bottles of wine
Photo courtesy of Rodney Strong Vineyards.

Rodney Strong

One of the largest wine producers in the Healdsburg region is Rodney Strong, which anchors the vineyard land on the southernmost tip of town. The parent organization has existed since the 1950s and today has five brands in all. Visitors to the newly refurbished tasting room can sample wines from Rodney Strong ($30), Davis Bynum ($30) and Rowen ($40); tastings also are available in an outdoor area called The Terrace. Rodney Strong offers two food options: a cheese and charcuterie box from Big Bottom Market in Guerneville ($30 for two people), or a boxed lunch from Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg ($30 per person). In the summer months, the winery hosts outdoor concerts on a large green with views of the vineyards. My personal pick is to spring for the Rowen tasting; winemaker Justin Seidenfeld uses this label as his laboratory and is producing some interesting wines such as the single-vineyard cabernet from high-elevation Cooley Ranch. $30-$40

11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg, CA, 707-431-1533, rodneystrong.com
two bottles of chardonnay with wine glasses at lioco winery in healdsburg
Lioco tasting room located off the Healdsburg square.

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 carignan. Lioco offers three different tasting experiences to be enjoyed inside or outdoors in a new parklet overlooking the Healdsburg Plaza. A fourth option, the Elevated Tasting Experience, is a guided tasting of library, large-format and off-menu wines that can include food pairings prepared by Sara herself. Guests of the high-end tasting sip from handblown stemware from Gabriel-Glas. Walk-ins welcome, reservations suggested. $25-$55

125 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA, 707-395-0148, liocowine.com

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About the Author

Born and raised in rural Kansas, Lisa Mattson fell in love with wine during college in South Florida and worked for a wine magazine before moving to Northern California. Her days are spent being a writer, photographer and videographer for Jordan Winery and nights cooking Thai food or microgreen salads. When she’s not eating and sipping her way through Sonoma County, she travels the world with her husband in search of the best restaurants, snorkeling spots and tiki bars.

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