In-the-know oenophiles will let you in on a little secret (and word’s quickly spreading): Yes, Napa is fantastic, home to some of the world’s finest Cabernet Sauvignons, but the little town of Healdsburg (located in Sonoma County, 20 minutes north of Santa Rosa), is an idyllic, lesser-known wine haven chock full of fine wines and amazing restaurants, too. Here’s your cheat sheet for what to see and do during your next Sonoma sojourn.
A trip to Healdsburg wouldn’t be complete without vineyard hopping—and the House of Flowers, part of the Huneeus family of wines, should top your go-to list. Famous for stellar Pinot Noirs (the 2018 Sea View Ridge Pinot Noir is a favorite), its Chardonnays are equally of note. Plus, the tasting room is one of the most beautiful in all of wine country. Flights are served inside or in a beautiful outdoor setting overlooking the vineyard.
There are so many lovely restaurants in and around Healdsburg, and one of the most noteworthy is the opening of The Matheson by well-known Chef Dustin Valette. Located in a 100-year-old building that once housed Valette’s great-grandfather’s bakery, it features a custom-built Mugnaini wood-fired pizza oven and a stylish third-floor lounge. Expect delicious, locally sourced farm-to-table fare and 88-plus wines on tap. Another stop on your dining itinerary: Hazel Hill restaurant at the recently opened Montage Healdsburg. The luxe wine country retreat is set atop a vineyard, with spectacular views and a sophisticated vibe. Watch the sunset with an artisan cocktail or local wine—Hazel Hill has a tree house-esque feel, with a menu that celebrates the best of Sonoma’s farm country.
The bustling square of downtown Healdsburg has a boutique for every taste, from local mom-and-pop home and design outposts to two dozen art galleries. Healdsburg’s small town charm is also celebrated along the plaza with eclectic restaurants, tasting rooms, galleries, and bars, including the speakeasy-esque Burdock. Cheers!
A gem of the Club’s wine country residences, The Norrbom Estate graces five meticulously landscaped acres, with a private pool, horseshoe court, outdoor dining area, and several gorgeous outdoor living areas—all with Sonoma countryside vistas. The two-story interior has modern finishes with clean lines and all the comforts of home. Sonoma Plaza is just three miles away, while Healdsburg (located at the juncture of three prime wine-growing regions—the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley wine appellations) is a short drive on scenic backroads, too.