Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wining in Sonoma

Our time in Sacramento is rapidly become road trip-centric...and I'm more than okay with that!  After living in a place where a road trip meant driving about an hour until the road literally ended, it's a welcome change!

We added to our arsenal of roadies a few days before Christmas with a trip through Napa and Sonoma Counties to a tiny, winery-centric town called Healdsburg, CA.

First of all, the drive through Alexander Valley was gorgeous.  Granted, the vines are all dormant because it's winter, so we weren't driving through rolling, vibrantly green hills by any stretch.  They mostly looked dead if you didn't know any better.  Not too far off from this...

But despite that - what a beautiful, idyllic, winding road through the vineyards!  Truly a relaxing drive.  Especially as a passenger.  Ha.

We joked that the entire town is "stuff white people like."  Well, because it is.  (Do you know that satirical comedy book from 2008?  It's pretty damn funny.)

Healdsburg can only be described as a quaint, wine-happy town in Sonoma County.  Wine tasting rooms for area vineyards every 3 feet, top-notch restaurants, antique shops, and I counted at least 3 over-priced doggie boutiques.

You know, the kind of shops that sell personalized dog pop art, Houndstooth dog coats, and gluten-free dog treats. (kidding about the gluten-free - but you get my point) C'mon, the place was named Fideaux.  Need I say more?

Strolling downtown Healdsburg

But aside from the somewhat hoity-toity factor, Healdsburg was a fun little town.  We tasted some excellent wine, and I learned about a red I'd never heard of before that blew me away.

Portalupi Tasting Room
Ever heard of a Barbera? (pronounced BAR-bear-uh) Me neither.  But, oh my Lord was this a good wine.  So smooth.  So tasty.

We tried it at the Portalupi Tasting Room and brought a very pricey bottle home with us.  We'll have to pick our special occasion to crack that one!

Apparently in addition to northern Italy, the grapes grow well in Amador County, which isn't too far from Sacramento.  Might be another wine-fueled roadie in our future!

We ended up popping around to 4 different tasting rooms around the charming downtown, which was all decked out for Christmas.

Along the way, we learned from one of the sommeliers that each flight of wines generally adds up to equal about one glass of wine.

So, by the time we finished up at the 4th tasting room - we were ready for some food!

Nonsense with the toad outside Toad Hollow & in one of the tasting rooms

We had a delicious dinner at one of the zillions of restaurants there were to choose from, but were out of luck finding any live music to check out.

Such is the way of the off season. Still fun, though!

Our second day brought us to Simi, a vineyard we stopped in on our way out of town.  Classy with their fireplace, fountain courtyard, and balcony.

To be honest though, I was over-wined at this point!  We hit the road back to Sacramento after that for another beautiful drive through the valley.

Simi Winery

So Healdsburg gets a thumbs up from me.  But, of course it would.

A quaint, wine-centric town with a seemingly endless array of restaurants specializing in locally-sourced, farm-to-fork menus?

Umm, yes please.  I say bring on our next road trip to stuff white people like!

Ta-ta for now.

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