A Wine Tasting Itinerary for WineryHunt Club Members
Featured January 2020
If you’ve never visited Healdsburg, you’re in for a treat. Many of Sonoma County’s very best restaurants and tasting rooms line the charming town square and surrounding blocks. Park the car and stroll to three of this month’s three featured wine tasting rooms, all located just north of the downtown plaza: Cartograph Wines, Gustafson Family Vineyards and Soda Rock Winery. As a bonus, La Follette Wines is pouring at nearby Quivira Vineyards, 10 minutes outside of town. After working up an appetite we recommend heading to Bravas Bar de Tapas or Valette for an amazing dinner.
View this tasting map on Google Maps
The first Cartograph wines—two Pinot Noirs and a bone-dry Gewurztraminer—were released in 2010 by founders Alan Baker and Serene Lourie. In 2013, with the release of their first Riesling, the duo designed and built their own tasting space a block north of the main plaza in downtown Healdsburg. This tasting room remains the heart of the business, a space to gather that is simultaneously swanky and convivial.
The wines themselves are subtle, nuanced and delicate. Baker hand-selects fruit from every vineyard site, and his winemaking philosophy is one of restraint. He harvests grapes when they’re a little less ripe and before the sugars get too plentiful, resulting in wines with a higher acidity and slightly lower alcohol. For the Pinot Noir, this translates into light floral notes; for the whites, especially the Riesling, it means citrus. Across the board, this approach yields wines that pair with just about any food.
Wines Produced: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Rosé, Pinot Noir
Love the modern and clean feel of the tasting room. All of the wines are fantastic. Each Pinot Noir is very similar yet each one has it’s own distinct personality. Definitely have to try Cartograph if you plan a trip to Healdsburg! J.D. -Google Review
Gustafson Family Vineyards
Gustafson Family Vineyards is the highest elevation site in Dry Creek Valley. The lean volcanic soils regulate growth and add complexity to the wines. Grapes grown at such high elevations produce wines of elegant and subtle character. All the wines are 100% Estate grown from the twenty acres of vineyards planted on the Dry Creek Estate.
The dedicated hospitality team is knowledgeable in all phases of the vineyard and winemaking process, a benefit which is shared in their downtown Healdsburg tasting room. Visitors will enjoy a wide variety of wines to sample, from Riesling to bold reds and even a dessert wine!
Wines Produced: Dry - Riesling Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé of Syrah, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Late Harvest Red (port-style)
My wife and I visited the Gustafson tasting room in Healdsburg on a day visit and enjoyed ourselves immensely. The wines on offer for tasting are all excellent, we were entertained and educated about the wines on offer. -W.U., TripAdvisor
La Follette Wines
NOTE: Due to the October Wildfires, La Follette generously handed off their downtown Healdsburg tasting groom to Soda Rock Winery, which burned down in the fire. As a result, the January tasting of La Follette wines will actually be at nearby Quivira Vineyards (a sister winery of La Follette). Get Directions.
La Follette Wines sources small quantities of Burgundian varietals from family-owned, cool-climate vineyards around Sonoma County. Winemaker Hugh Chappelle is focused on creating terroir-driven wines that are a pure expression of vineyard site and a delight to drink. For this reason, the vast majority of the Pinot Noir and Chardonnays produced by La Follette are single-vineyard bottlings. These wines are consistently critically-acclaimed for their complexity and beautiful expression.
Wines Produced: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Just had a tasting at La Follette in the Healdsburg square. The staff were amazingly knowledgable and so nice to talk to. The wines were delicious. I went away with a Pinot and Chardonnay . Wonderful experience!! L.B., Google Review
Soda Rock Winery
Note to club members: Soda Rock is a new addition to the January itinerary and is not on your printed tasting itinerary. They just moved into the downtown Healdsburg tasting room of La Follette wines after a fire at their nearby vineyard estate.
Based in Sonoma County’s scenic Alexander Valley, Soda Rock Winery offers a delicious array of wines with a focus on Bordeaux varietals. While the historic estate tasting room burned in the October Kinkade fire, the winery stands strong with a dedicated following and two tasting rooms--- one in the estate tasting barn, and the other at this downtown Healdsburg tasting room. Pay a visit to enjoy superb Alexander Valley wines at the downtown Healdsburg tasting room, which is open daily 11am-6pm!
Wines Produced: Cabernet Franc, Meritage, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Primitivo, Red Blends, White Blends, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon
Great interpretations of the varietals. The Lord Snort blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is fantastic. Take a running through through their Zinfandels as well! -GD, Google Review
Join the 2020 WineryHunt Sonoma Club
Enjoy a curated wine tasting itinerary, waived tastings and 10% discounts in a different Sonoma region every month in 2020. This is your monthly Sonoma wine tasting adventure!View Club Details