How great does this sound right now?
This post is a bit of a throwback, but like every February, I'm craving a little warmth something fierce. I thought I would re-live our quick getaway to Healdsburg to get through this last stretch of winter and share a mini guide in case you find yourself there sometime too.
Back in September, when the husband's parents offered to have our little guy come stay at their house for a weekend, we jumped (leaped? danced? did a jig?) at the opportunity. Sleeping in, relaxing dinners out, cups of coffee sipped rather than gulped...it sounded positively dreamy.
And wine. Let's not forget all the wine to be had.
When we visited Napa and Sonoma 4 years ago, we fell in love with the town of Healdsburg and decided it would be just the place to come back to. But this time, our trip would be a quick 48 hours.
We flew into the Santa Rosa airport, just 15 minutes from Healdsburg, to make the most of our time. A tiny airport has its perks - the husband fetched our car from the rental while I stood no more than 5 feet away waiting for our bag. We breezed in and out and made way into the California sunshine!
We didn't have much time and we didn't try to plan too much. We marveled at the vineyards, driving through the windy backroads of the Russian River Valley, talking some and then quieting to listen to the hum of the motor, taking it all in. We filled our bellies with big slurpy bowls of pasta, salads of watercress and dainty gem lettuces, feisty cups of coffee, and impossibly good cheeses. We drank delicious, delicious wine and felt younger and bold and a bit sassy too, as wine will do.
The highlight of our getaway was a visit to Scribe, a winery producing the most brilliant and lively wines using non-interventionist methods. We were greeted with a palm tree-lined driveway and sunlit vineyards all around. A charming hacienda stood at the end of the lane. For two Pacific Northwesterners, it didn't take much more than that. A love story was inevitable.
For our lunch + tasting, we sat on the side porch of the hacienda under a white umbrella, just in front of the garden and overlooking the vineyards.
There was a platter of chicken wings topped with bright green chimichurri and lots and lots of olive oil. Little lettuces were tangled with a zippy meyer lemon vinaigrette. Tomatoes and waxy yellow beans sat plumply under a slathering of aioli and the toastiest breadcrumbs. There were marinated cucumbers with baby radishes and bright, pungent herbs, tiny shishito peppers, and sweet, sweet garden melon. Incredible. And most of it came from just steps away.
The wine dazzled and the sense of place had us entirely smitten.
I'm rejuvenated (and assuredly nostalgic) just thinking about it all again. Do get yourself there sometime if you can. Here, my brief travel list, but I promise it's a good one.
Hotel Healdsburg / A gem. I loved the twinkly lights stringing overhead in the courtyard, a perfect place to have a cup of coffee in the morning or a maybe a little wine in the evening.
to eat + drink
Shed / Part market, part eatery, part shop for home goods. In other words, a dream. They've got a café, coffee bar (serving up local Flying Goat Coffee), fermentation bar, and larder. Stop in to have a coffee and pick up supplies for a decidedly above-average picnic.
Campo Fina / Ask to sit on the patio next to the bocce court at this laid-back spot. Eat a big bowl of pasta and drink a big glass of wine. So much yes.
Spoonbar / Pop in here on a nice evening, when all the doors and windows are opened up and the energy is infectious. Definitely have a go at the bar if you can manage to get a spot.
Noble Folk / An ice cream + pie bar. Need I say more? Just go.
to do/visit (wineries, of course)