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First visit to wine country

New York
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First visit to wine country

My bf and I are visiting in a couple of days. We're being very ambitious and trying to do wineries in both Sonoma and Healdsburg. I have heard some great things about Healdsburg so we think it will be worth checking out. We are staying in SF so will try to do as much as we can in one day. I am not a huge wine drinker but I'll drink good white wines but my bf enjoys all kinds of reds. So far in Healdburg, we are visiting Ferrari since the grounds are supposed to be beautiful and I am toying with the idea of visiting Lancaster estate. It's $20 for the tasting and tour. That's a little too expensive for us but if it's worthwhile, we will go there. Can someone tell me whether it's worth going to Lancaster or suggest another good winery in Healdsburg?


Fremont, California
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1. Re: First visit to wine country

A little concerned about your budget for the day in wine country....$20.00 for tasting and a tour is a reasonable price to pay Since that is higher than you are budgeting, you might want to check into wineries that offer free tasting. Healdsburg is fun to explore and you can do that after starting your day in Sonoma. In Sonoma you can do wine tasting for free at both Jacuzzi Winery and Cline Winery



Do free cheese tasting and have a reasonable $ to $$ lunch at Sonoma Cheese Factory; afterwards explore the town square


Then drive to Healdsburg...and visit Ferrari


and then drive to Hop Kiln and enjoy their food/sauce tastings.


Nice grounds....fun place to go...reasonable cost

Then go to Healdsburg


Not sure what your dinner budget is....Zin is mid range $.


and if you go early enough (and plan per your budget and taste day to go) you can get a really nice blue plate special. Note; the restaurant is definitely wine country, but they try to offer a reasonably priced alternative to some of the high priced restaurants such as Dry Creek.

I'd opt for a fun day in Sonoma/Healdsburg that will also be $ friendly.....when you are out and about if you see another winery to go to, stop by. There are hundreds of wineries in this area.

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2. Re: First visit to wine country

Unti in Healdsburg is a great wiinery - no charge for tasting, but you need an appt. Moshin has some very good Pinots, Quivira has a lot of good wines -both wineries charge $5. . Zin's sounds good for lunch, they have Shrimp and Grits! One of my favorite NOLA specials!

Healdsburg, CA
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3. Re: First visit to wine country

The tour at Lancaster is really beautiful, and their caves are amazing; they only have Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet, which are both quite tasty; it is just up to you two whether you do want to spend the money (and the time, a little over an hour) on the tour.

Another winery in Healdsburg is Mauritson, who has some nice whites as well as amazing reds, that I think both of you would enjoy.

The town square also has a lot of tasting rooms, including Thumbprint, Toad Hollow, Longboard, Hauck, La Crema, Rosenblum (just to name a few of my favorites!), as well as lots of shopping, so you could easily spend an afternoon in the square before dinner.

Have Fun!

Innkeeper Mandie

Honor Mansion

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4. Re: First visit to wine country

Also on the Plaza in Healdsburg is the Kendall-Jackson tasting room. We did the Reserve tasting here and loved their Late Harvest Chardonnay. Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar is another excellent choice for a meal in this area. Dry Creek Kitchen @ the Hotel Healdsburg is also there. Have fun! :)

New York
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5. Re: First visit to wine country

Thank you all for the suggestions. I think we may end up doing Lancaster since it's supposed to be so beautiful. It just seems like all the tastings will add up but we will share them and I would anyway much rather see the beautiful grounds!

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6. Re: First visit to wine country

Lancaster is a beautiful winery and their wine is very very good......worth the $20.00. However, if you are short on time I think I might go to Downtown Healdsburg and you can wine taste as well as tour the town. Great shopping, food and wine. Couldn't ask for anything better!

7. Re: First visit to wine country

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