Tasting Tour ….

While Santa Rosa took it in the teeth in the recent fires, it’s important to remember that a lot of Sonoma counties were relatively untouched, including much of Santa Rosa. Let wine lovers know it’s perfectly safe and welcomed abundantly to come back and taste some Sonoma wineries.

In that vein, the Insider has always loved Healdsburg. So he took an afternoon to have lunch, sip many wines and drop into as many tasting rooms as possible that dot Healdsburg Ave.

Take the downtown exit off the 101 Hwy and it’s easy to find some parking off the main drag around Healdsburg Plaza, which is nice to stroll through as well. Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen came into view and it was easy to pretend we were on a Mediterranean Island with sun dappled tables, wine and cheese. While the food is superb, the Insider dug the ambience the most.

After a very nice, leisurely lunch, it was time to taste some wine. First stop was the La Crema tasting room where you were asked, are you a playful pinot gris, a classic chardonnay or a seductive pinot noir? Well, I’m all for seduction but I leaned to their classic chard.

Next stop was the Hartford Family Winery tasting room. A bright airy, tasting room, the Insider leaned toward their Zin.

Stonestreet Tasting Room was another pleasant light-filled room and the Insider enjoyed their Sauv Blanc the most.

Slid into the Toad Hollow tasting room, had a ball, really friendly pouring group and liked their cab and merlot equally.

Spicy Wines is an interesting tasting room with artisanal wines on pour and a funky atmosphere. While at Spicy, the pour gal recommended Breathless, a tasting room a few blocks off the main drag that specializes in sparkling wines. And while one normally begins a tasting with some bubbly, it was a fun, tasty way to wind up our Healdsburg visit with their Brut hitting some nice dry tasting notes.

In closing, if you want to taste some Sonoma wine, Healdsburg beckons!