A Wine Tasting Itinerary for WineryHunt Club Members
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 these three featured wine tasting rooms, all located just off the downtown plaza: Banshee Wines, Cartograph Wines, and LIOCO. After working up an appetite we recommend heading to Bravas Bar de Tapas or Valette for an amazing dinner.
Banshee Wines started in 2009 at a bar in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. The goal was to make wines that tasted like the best California had to offer, but were priced so that everyone could enjoy them. After a few years, the band of Banshee migrated up to the small but bustling town of Healdsburg, where they opened their tasting room in 2013.
Grapes for their "Lip-smacking rose, crab-worthy coastal Chardonnay, the gentle giant that is our “Mordecai,” and of course, some of the best damn Pinot Noir in the country" come from all over Sonoma County. Banshee's wines make a great introduction to get to know the flavor of the area. Start here and discover your new favorite Sonoma County vineyard!
Wines Produced: Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, Grenache, Rosé
Great experience, tasting room is fun and wines are great. - JJ, Google Review
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
LIOCO was conceived in the alley behind Spago Beverly Hills by wine director Kevin O’Connor and wine salesman Matt Licklider. Today the winery is owned and operated by the Licklider family. Husband/wife duo Matt and Sara Licklider and their small team produce the wines at a state-of-the-art winemaking cooperative in Santa Rosa. All of the fruit is purchased from exceptional vineyards spanning 200-miles and three counties (Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Mendocino).
In addition to great wines, their Downtown Healdsburg tasting room boasts a collection of 400+ vinyl albums that make the rounds on their vintage turntable and set the perfect tone for your tasting.
Wines Produced: Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Carignan, Sauvignon blanc, Valdiguie
Amazing wine, interesting varietals, very cool people. One of the best places in town. - REL, Google Review