After our Autumn lunch and vineyard event at the La Crema Estate in Windsor, California a few weeks ago; my friend Annie and I stayed in Sonoma for another night to do some exploring. Healdsburg has always been one of my favorite places to go in wine country, so we headed that way. We figured that if we could make the most of 24 hours in Sonoma, then you could too--so we hit up a few tasting rooms, walked around a lot, and took a ton of photos to create a little travel guide for you if you ever find yourself in Sonoma without a lot of time to spend--you can still have a great experience with just one night.
Since we started in Windsor (and Kristan was still with us for a bit), we decided to have an early picnic at the La Crema Estate where we had the event the day before. The grounds are extensive and you can buy a bottle of wine and find a spot to sit and enjoy. We covered the picnic, as well as some tips and a recipe in this post.
Our first stop after the picnic was at Siduri's Healdsburg Wine Lounge, where we had a wonderful Pinot Noir tasting and ordered some food. The Pinot Noir was delicious (definitely my favorite wine, especially this time of year!), and we ate the Candy Cap Mushroom Kettle corn, which paired perfectly with the wine. We also ordered a fried seafood plate, which came with shrimp and scallops, some awesome tartar sauce, and a wedge of fresh lemon. It was really cool to taste all the Pinots from north to south and see how location and climate can really change the grapes.
Siduri is a great place to hang out because they serve food and have a lot of seating--Annie and I hung out on a comfy bench at one of the windows, so we could look out the open windows onto the sidewalk as people walked by. There's a record player and a collection of games on a bookshelf that make the place seem super approachable and comfy.
We stopped at Moustache Baked Goods for a cupcake on the way to another tasting at the La Crema Tasting Room, where Annie and I split the most delicious cupcake ever. It was filled with fig preserves and topped with some seriously beautiful almond frosting. I wanted to buy a dozen and bring them home.
Healdsburg Square is really small and super walkable, so after our cupcake break, we were practically already at the La Crema Tasting Room (a spot I've been to before and still love just as much). The service at La Crema is always impeccable--we tried a wide variety of wines and even took a few bottles with us (there are a few that are only available at their locations, not online).
The tasting room is really modern and chic--the front is set up with a bar for tastings, as well as a gift shop with lots of wine-related merchandise. In the back is a lounge with a bit more seating and lots of pillows for a more comfortable vibe.
There are more than enough restaurants to choose from for dinner, and lots of boutiques, gift shops, salons, and spas to keep you busy in between tastings. The hotel scene is also super luxurious and fun.
The next morning we walked around some more, even though it was raining. I love nothing more than a chilly grey morning, no matter where I am. My favorite spot for coffee is Flying Goat, a sweet little cafe near the square. Once we were properly caffeinated and had found a quick breakfast of egg sandwiches at one of the local delis, we hopped in the car and drove 10-15 minutes to Stonestreet Winery, still in Healdsburg.
Stonestreet is so beautiful--even in the rain! They have a gorgeous tasting room with a view of vineyard-covered mountains in the not-so-far-off distance. All of their wines are single-vineyard, which means the grapes come from one plot of land, and in the case of Stonestreet, it's the one you can see from your table. That's one of my favorite things about going to Sonoma--actually being able to see and explore where the grapes that make up your favorite wines are grown.
It was such a nice trip--our first day was sunny and warm and then we woke up to a chilly morning of dreamy, cozy rain. It just brought to light how amazing wine country is, no matter the weather or time of year. I still can't believe I'm just two hours from all of this magic! California may be far from "home" but it sure is special.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Jackson Family Wines.