So you’re coming to Healdsburg soon and want to do some wine tasting. You could book a driver, an Uber, rental car, or bike your way around town. But the safest way to wine taste in town is truly on foot. If you’re staying somewhere in the Healdsburg town square area there are plenty of tasting rooms to choose from within walking distance. Like probably over 20 tasting rooms within a three block radius. Since moving to Sonoma County I’ve visited a handful of the walkable Healdsburg tasting rooms, but not nearly all of them. Here are some of my favorites and my take on the best walkable Healdsburg tasting rooms. No car, no problem!
BloodRoot is my most recent Healdsburg tasting room discovery, and it’s all thanks to one of my subscribers who put it on my radar. Inspired by the terroir and ecosystem of wine, where the grapes come from and their timeless expression, BloodRoot makes wines that are approachable from both the taste and price perspective. For instance, they are currently pouring a $38 Napa Cab which gave me reverse sticker shock. Most of their wines on the tasting menu are under $50. I really enjoyed tasting here and the passion you could just feel and vibe off of from the employees and other folks tasting in the room. Feels like a total hidden gem and the start of something really awesome at the same time. It’s no surprise as the founders behind the brand have a long history in wine with Banshee and Reeve Wine. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating, plus they are dog friendly.
Did you know they got their start in the San Francisco Dogpatch? Banshee has such a cool and edgy vibe, the tasting room is definitely a unique atmosphere. Good music, eclectic decor, and delightful wines. They even do a wine and grilled cheese pairing! I love their Pinot Noir, but last year they actually launched their first sparkling which is called Ten of Cups, inspired by the tarot card.
LIOCO focuses on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Carignan and is located at the southeast corner of the town square across from Oakville Grocery. Their wines not only express Sonoma County, but also Mendocino and Santa Cruz. Like so many of the Healdsburg tasting rooms, the space is just lovely to be in. I especially love the mural at the tasting room entrance which makes understanding the geography and how all these wines come to be so much clearer. LIOCO offers both indoor and outdoor seating with their own parklet, perfect for people watching as this is a pretty busy intersection. They also offer the space for full rentals, I actually came here most recently for a wedding welcome party as guests were arriving into town for the wedding weekend.
Marine Layer Wines
Marine Layer Wines opened their Healdsburg tasting room last September, so it’s a fairly new spot in town. Located directly facing the town square, this tasting room focuses on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their emphasis is on the cooler climate coastal region. The Sonoma Coast is huge, however, so with their wines they try to showcase all the unique expression grapes from this region can create, sourcing from their vineyards in Green Valley, around Occidental, and up north in Annapolis around Sea Ranch. The wines are named after constellations in the sky during the growing and harvest season. The tasting room is an airy midcentury modern dream. Definitely try this very Instagram worthy spot!
Generally speaking with tasting rooms, reservations are always preferred so call ahead to make plans! Sometimes reservations are flat out required. But many of the tasting rooms within walking distance of the Healdsburg town square will accommodate walk-ins. Especially on weekdays when the town is a little less busy. Weekdays are my favorite days to taste.
If all else fails, there are plenty of Healdsburg restaurants offering these local wines on the menu you can usually order by the glass. I would also recommend the self-serve wine bar at The Matheson where you can dispense wine by yourself and at your own pace. It’s kind of like building your own tasting experience. You could taste local wines head to head with French wines if you wanted to even. The Matheson is located on Matheson street, just across from the town square. When you enter the building, just go to the left. You can’t miss it!
What are some of your favorite walkable Healdsburg tasting rooms? Let us all know in a comment below!