The new year brings restaurant and bar debuts, winery anniversaries, and curated excursions.
Healdsburg, Calif., January 13th, 2022 / Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District
In the heart of Sonoma County at the intersection of the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys, Healdsburg is a world-class food and wine destination offering an array of experiences. In 2022, travelers and locals alike can enjoy new restaurant and bar openings, 50th winery anniversaries, curated excursions, and the annual Winter WINEland.
The annual Winter WINEland event hosted by Wine Road will return on January 15th and 16th (11 am–4:30 pm), giving guests a chance to meet winemakers from several dozen wineries and taste limited production wines and new releases. Some wineries will be hosting happy hours on Friday night, and a dozen wineries will be offering a special on Monday to wrap up the event weekend. Reservations are required. Ticket info here.
Weekend of Romance at Hazel Hill
Montage Healdsburg’s signature restaurant, Hazel Hill, will celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with a four-course prix fixe dinner on February 12th and 13th featuring lobster thermidor and chocolate semifreddo. The restaurant will also host a festive Sunday brunch with favorites including popovers, cast-iron baked shakshuka, bananas Foster French toast, and decadent desserts. On Valentine’s Day, Hazel Hill will offer a seven-course prix-fixe menu showcasing delicacies such as Teleeka ravioli, scallop quenelle, and seductive mignardises (small desserts). For reservations, call 707-354–6900.
Romantic Rendezvous, Valentine’s Dinner at Hotel Healdsburg
Hotel Healdsburg’s new “Romantic Rendezvous” package features two nights in a luxurious Premier Guestroom with a six-foot soaking tub. Other perks include house-made artisanal chocolates, fresh flowers from Dragonfly Farms, Sonoma County sparkling wine, and late check-in/checkout. From February 11th through 14th, the hotel’s signature restaurant, Dry Creek Kitchen, will serve a lovers-inspired, five-course tasting menu of seasonal Wine Country fare for the ultimate Valentine’s weekend experience. Book here.
Wine Road Barrel Tasting
Wine Road’s annual Barrel Tasting weekend returns for one long weekend (March 3rd–6th), during which attendees can learn directly from winemakers about the winemaking process, be the first to taste limited production wines, and purchase “futures” of wines sampled directly from the barrel. Reservations are required. Ticket info here.
Sonoma Epicurean Weekend
The V Foundation for Cancer Research will host its inaugural Sonoma Epicurean weekend from March 31st through April 3rd in Healdsburg. A signature series of events, Sonoma Epicurean features curated dinners and hands-on experiences with Michelin-star and award-winning chefs including Charlie Palmer and Dustin Valette, as well as world-class wineries like Aperture Cellars and Francis Ford Coppola. Proceeds from the event will fund cancer research and related programs to benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Tickets are $2,500 per person for the weekend; $750 for Thursday; $1,500 for Friday; $1,500 for Saturday. More info here.
Earth Week Nature Hike at Jordan Winery
Jordan Vineyard and Winery will celebrate Earth Week from April 22nd to 24th with the return of its popular Earth Week Nature Hikes, led by agricultural director Brent Young. The day begins with breakfast at the winery’s Bacchus courtyard, followed by a 4-mile hike to Vista Point. The highest hilltop of Jordan’s peaceful 1,200-acre ranch, it affords sweeping mountain views. The trek concludes at the chef’s garden and apiary, where guests learn about the winery’s new pollinator sanctuary plantings before enjoying a charcuterie picnic with wine and cheese pairings. Tickets go on sale on March 22nd. Purchase them here.
New Restaurants and Wine Bar, Happy Anniversaries
Lo & Behold
Laura Sanfilippo and Tara Heffernon, former Duke Spirited Cocktails’ founders, have partnered with chef Sean Raymond Kelley to bring a new bar and restaurant concept to downtown Healdsburg with Lo & Behold. The vibrant bar and kitchen, opening in January, will serve farm-to-glass cocktails and globally inspired comfort food in a lively and casual environment, utilizing produce from the expansive patio and fruit grown in Heffernon’s orchard.
SingleThread owners Kyle and Katina Connaughton will introduce a plant-based full-service restaurant, quick-service café, and wine shop at the former Shed in Healdsburg this March. The project, called Little Saint, is in collaboration with new property owners Jeff and Laurie Ubben, Jenny Hess, and designer Ken Fulk. With an à la carte menu inspired by Sonoma County’s seasonal bounty, the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, with the café and retail open daily.
Conceived as a hub for enjoying the world’s greatest wines, former SingleThread directors Evan and Jade Hufford, in partnership with sommelier and SingleThread alum Ryan Knowles, will open a new downtown wine bar, Maison Healdsburg, in March. The wine bar will prominently feature Sonoma Coast wines poured alongside their analogs from Burgundy, as well as champagne, craft sake, and beer. Maison Healdsburg will also host private tastings and weekly educational classes catering to both novice drinkers and industry experts.
Jordan Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Jordan Vineyard & Winery is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the 10th anniversary of its philanthropic organization, The John Jordan Foundation. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the winery will be hosting a series of alfresco dinners at the Jordan château and in selected cities across the U.S. Proceeds benefit local organizations.
Dry Creek Vineyard Also Turns 50
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery. Dry Creek Vineyard is known for producing some of California’s finest Fumé Blancs and Zinfandels, as well as excellent Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is planning multiple celebratory events throughout the year.
Barndiva Welcomes Michelin-Star Chef
Tucked away just off Healdsburg’s main square, the farm-forward Barndiva – which received its first Michelin star last fall – welcomes a new executive chef, Erik Anderson. Most recently executive chef at Truss Restaurant and Bar at the Four Seasons Napa Valley in Calistoga, he has a lengthy resume that includes positions at Yountville’s The French Laundry, three-Michelin-star restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, and other top-rated restaurants. Mixologist Scott Beattie will join Anderson as beverage director, and Sally Kim of the Delfina Restaurant Group will head the wine program.
New Chef at Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza
Guests at Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza can enjoy a complimentary breakfast for two, prepared by chef Michael Cochren, an experienced culinary artist who has worked with chefs Dustin Valette and Jesse Mallgren. From hot entrées and fresh baked goods to a full range of beverages, Cochren’s imaginative offerings include cream cheese–filled crepes topped with berry compote, French toast custard, eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and citrus hollandaise, and more.
New Experiences and Packages
Hotel Healdsburg Mushroom Foraging Experience
Hotel Healdsburg has partnered with Notre Vue Estate & Winery to offer a mushroom foraging experience. Included are a guided two-hour foray with an expert mushroom forager; a three-course dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen (with a special fourth course prepared with the freshly picked mushrooms); and a bottle of wine per person. Also in the package: a mushroom lovers gift set with a foraging pocket guidebook, dried local porcini mushrooms, a portfolio of Relish Culinary Adventures‘ favorite wild-mushroom recipes, and Candy Cap maple meringue cookies. The package costs $688 for two guests. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Seasons” Pairing Dinners at Bricoleur Vineyards
Showcasing the seasonal bounty of Bricoleur Vineyards, “The Seasons” is a four-course wine and food experience ($200) available throughout 2022. Each with its own theme, the dinners were created by James Beard Award–winning chefs Charlie Palmer and Nate Appleman in partnership with Bricoleur’s culinary team. The first dining experience will take place on February 12th, honoring Valentine’s Day with a theme of love. More info here.
Montage Healdsburg’s Adventure IO Excursions
Montage Healdsburg has partnered with Adventure IO, a leading curator of locally inspired day trips and activities, to offer guests exclusive experiences in Healdsburg. Excursions include bee-lining (the safe capture and identification of bees) with the Montage’s beekeeper and a helicopter ride with Butterfly Aviation over Sonoma County that ends with a private wine tasting experience. Among the other options are kayaking trips down the Russian River with Getaway Adventures, VIP Wine Country Art Tours at Aperture Cellars and the Harris Gallery, and a 100-Point Wine Tour to experience three vineyards producing wines earning “perfect” 100 scores. Prices range from $139 to $5,900. Call the concierge team (707-979-9000) to book.
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Daniel Mangin is the author of Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma and the coauthor of The California Directory of Fine Wineries. Lead image, view from the deck at Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards, is courtesy of Stay Healdsburg.