A Day In Healdsburg – Good to the Last Drop!

Jordan Wine Tasting & Food Pairing

We spent the last day of our trip in Healdsburg.  I love this town for a lot of different reasons.  The town square is wonderful for dining, shopping and entertainment.  Healdsburg is also centrally located to over 100 wineries!  What’s not to love!

After breakfast at the Vintner’s Inn we headed to J Vineyard & Winery.  Sunset Magazine named J Vineyard & Winery the “Best Tasting Room in the West!”  The vineyard was founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan (yes, the famous Jordan name). The winery began as a producer of sparkling wine.  Now they feature Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in addition to sparkling wine.  The facility is beautiful and they serve a full lunch if you are hungry.  We opted just for the tasting since we had other plans for lunch.  WOW!  We are their newest fans.  It didn’t take us long to decide that this was our favorite new winery and we had a case of wine shipped back to enjoy.

For lunch we visited one of our favorite stops, Oakville Grocery Co.  The location in Healdsburg is located right on the historic square.  It is a great place to pick up picnic supplies or have them make you one of their fantastic sandwiches and dine on their patio.  It is always on our “To Do List” when we are in the area.  Their original location is in Oakville on the Napa Valley side.

We had a 3:00 pm reservation for a tasting appointment at Jordan Vineyard and Winery.  I was very excited about this tasting as we have been a fan of Jordan for years.  They do require reservations and they only have 12 people per tasting so it is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour.  Claire Holloway with Jordan was our host for the tasting and she was extremely knowledgeable about the Jordan history and their wines.  We started the tasting with their Chardonnay in the library and it was very good.  I have always known Jordan for their Cabernet Sauvignon so the Chardonnay was a nice surprise.  We then moved through a secret passage way to an adjoining room for the Cab tasting.  They poured three different Cabernet vintages and we really enjoyed all of them to the last drop!  As you can see in the picture above, they offered a food pairing with the tasting that was perfect.  We took a few bottles with us and also plan to order a bottle of their olive oil that we tried with the food pairing.

After taking lots of pictures of the beautiful estate of Jordan, we decided to drive over to White Oak Vineyards & Winery.  We are in their wine club but haven’t visited in about five years.  We were the only ones at the winery since it was so late on Sunday but it was a fun way to end our trip.  They have a great tasting room and a lot of great tasting reasonably priced wines ranging from $16 – $50.

Our dinner reservations that night were at Scopa in Healdsburg.  We definitely saved the best for last.   Scopa is a fun intimate restaurant with some of the best Italian food we have ever had. We were so lucky to get a reservation…Make sure you call early in the week to get in for the weekend. I had the grilled peach salad followed by the spaghettini with a braised short rib meat sauce. “Amazing” is the best word I can use to describe this meal. Mr. 25th Hour had a cremini mushroom salad as his starter and then the veal Bolognese over tagliatellle pasta I typically can’t finish a pasta dish but I was determined to not let a forkful go to waste. The service was energetic and perfect for the restaurant.

We had a wonderful trip and we can’t wait to plan our next adventure!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and for those on the east coast stay safe!  My thoughts are with you this weekend. ~ 25th Hour Gal

Napa Wine Log – Day 2

Afternoon Tasting at Honig Vineyard & Winery

This trip we stayed at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa.  This is a convenient area on the Sonoma side.  We loved this location and the Inn was very beautiful.  The John Ash & Co restaurant is on the property and it also has a great bar.

We had planned our Saturday starting with an early lunch at Bouchon in Yountville on the Napa side.  We put the top down and took the scenic route over through Sonoma.  It was a beautiful day!  We arrived early at Bouchon and we were very glad that we had a  reservation.  I wasn’t sure if we needed one for lunch but it was a necessity.  The restaurant is a lively french bistro.  Their dinner menu is the same as their lunch menu so the prices are more inline with dinner offerings.  We finished our lunch with “bouchons” or chocolate corks.  It was a great dessert served warm with raspberry sorbet.  Think warm chocolate brownies!

After lunch, we headed to our first winery of the day:  Plumpjack.  This is a great small winery.  Plumpjack is owned by former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and by Gordon Getty of the Getty Oil fortune.  The winery is very approachable without a lot of the Napa snobbery that can be found in many places.  Their cabs were wonderful.  We had an excellent server that spent a lot of time with us explaining the wines.  We always like to ask the servers where they like to go tasting on their day off.  She recommended Miner Family Vineyards which was about a 1/2 mile from Plumpjack.

Next stop Miner Family Vineyards!  Unfortunately they had several large and loud parties that were there for tastings including a bachelorette group.  So, it was a quick taste for us.  I should mention here that we usually visit Napa during the off-season when the crowds are few and the tastings are really nice experiences.  Ok, back to Miner.  The standouts here were the Viognier and the Oracle.  Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2007 Oracle  95 points.  I would love to go back in the off-season.

Honig Vineyard and Winery was our last stop of the day.  This winery does require an appointment but we called and they were able to fit us in the last tasting of the day.  They have a beautiful outside tasting room.  It is a garden type setting with patio tables and umbrellas overlooking the vineyards.  It was a very peaceful way to end our day.  The tasting is not rushed and they encourage you to enjoy your time there.  They pour an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and a yummy Cab.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet the Honig wine dog.  Apparently wine dogs get the weekend off!  Highly recommend a tasting at Honig on your next trip to Napa.

Two more tastings planned to Sunday.  More About That later…