Just forty miles north of Sonoma Square you’ll find one of the best-kept secrets of California’s wine country; Healdsburg. Tucked just far enough north to make the drive a little too long for tourists not in the know, you’ll find a small town with a low-key vibe, boutique businesses, mouthwatering restaurants, and, of course, plenty of top-notch wineries.
Healdsburg is the perfect day trip on your California wine country trip or a destination for your weekend getaway. Within a few blocks of the town square, you’ll find countless wineries, local businesses, and restaurants to explore. And the best way to get as many as you can in is with a tour.
That’s one of the reasons why Tammy Gass started Savor Healdsburg. An avid traveler in her own right, Tammy loved exploring the food scenes of other destinations and learning about what made them tick. She realized that Healdsburg had the perfect environment to host one of its own, sharing the farm to table philosophy of the town with locals and tourists alike.
Note: Thank you to Savor Healdsburg for hosting me on this adventure. As always, all opinions remain my own. I hope this article on the best of Healdsburg is useful for you.
Showcasing Local Business
While today, Healdsburg is recognized as a luxury destination, it began and continues to be an agriculture community beyond anything else. Today the top product is wine but everything from craft cheese and grains to farms growing a variety of produce exist in the region and support many of the restaurants in the area.
Not only do you have a chance on a tour with Savor Healdsburg to see the best local businesses in the area, you’ll also find them supporting each other. With the restaurants highlight local produce and products.
On your tour, there is also a good chance you’ll run into some of the owners of the restaurants and businesses. They’ll take a moment of their time to tell their personal story, the story of their businesses, and the community as a whole.
A Focus on Farm to Table
On the Gourmet Healdsburg tour with Savor Healdsburg, we began at the SHED. This local business focuses on eating, cooking, and farming. It is a general store filled with locally created products and stocked daily with produce from local farms. It is also a full-service restaurant that serves everything from brunch to dinner bringing these local products to the table in front of you.
The tour will take you through the store, sharing about the different produce and products created right in Healdsburg and Sonoma County. And then you get a chance to taste some of it for yourself.
The restaurant at the SHED takes the produce of the area and turns it into outstanding plates that you won’t want to miss.
Finding a Unique Approach to Wine
Sonoma County and Healdsburg itself is home to some of the world’s best wineries. You can drive around Dry Creek or Russian River and find endless spots to explore. At the same time, right in Downtown Healdsburg, you can walk from tasting room to tasting room including some of the big names in wine.
On top of that, they have taken a new approach to bottling their table wine. I’ll start with this isn’t your five dollar table wine. Their Vaso di Marina is held to just as a high standard of their straight varietals. These white, rose, and red wines are each distinct blends bringing in Italian varietals and bottling them in a liter jug that reminds you more of a milk jug than a wine bottle. On top of that, it is bottled right in front you and refillable. Today we rarely age wines, so throwing out the cork with a sustainable and adorable way is exactly what the wine industry needs.
Portalupi’s wine is reason enough to pop into their tasting room but their fresh approach to wine makes the spot a can’t miss best of Healdsburg.
Tapas make the perfect dishes to share and were some of my favorite throughout the tour. We had the chance to taste two different styles, Portuguese and Spanish.
First, we hit Cafe Lucia, where I may have tasted my first Portuguese food. Not only did we get to taste some of the dishes but also some of the wine. It was a relaxing spot to get a taste of their style.
Then over at Bravas, you walk into an adorable home converted into a restaurant. The setting is perfect for meeting up with friends for a fun night out. As you taste some of the things the restaurant has to offer, including one of their sangrias, you’ll peruse their menu and decide you need to come back again.
Add in Some Tea Time
Never before have I take a food tour that included a tea tasting, and it was the perfect addition. At Taste of Tea, we sat down with the owner and she walked us through tasting four types of tea and taught me so much I didn’t know about it. On top of a beautiful presentation and tea, I had to take home, this gave my palette a chance to cleanse and relax after all the rich food and wine we’d been enjoying.
I look forward to a chance to come back and explore more of the food they have to offer here as well.
Finish With a Sweet Treat
Exploring the sweets offered in a town is a foodie experience you shouldn’t miss. Luckily on Savor Healdsburg’s tour, we had the chance to do just that. We learned about a local company that makes both baked goods and ice cream.
We made our way to Moustache Baked Goods and found treat ranging from cupcakes to cookie sandwiches to french macarons. The challenging part of the tour was choosing which ones to taste!
Take Your Own Adventure Exploring the Best of Healdsburg
Healdsburg has become my favorite destination in California wine country, offering all the food, wine, and activities in any of the most popular spots with a smaller amount of the tourists. Not only does this mean you have fewer people around, it also allows the city keep its authentic feel.
The best of Healdsburg really is the best of wine country and taking a tour with Savor Healdsburg is a great way to get a taste of everything the city has to offer. I loved the Gourmet Healdsburg tour but they offer other as well, including private and personalize tours. If you’re looking for more things to do in Healdsburg don’t miss some of my favorites.