Happy Friday, friends! We are currently en route to Nashville for birthday trip #2. Well…that’s at least what I’m calling it! We are really heading to Nashville for a fun weekend to watch Ian’s favorite soccer team (Tottenham Hotspur) play in the U.S. And since Ian’s parents live in Nashville, and we both went to school there at some point, we really will take any excuse to go visit. Then, when my parents heard about the trip, they decided to come up too! So we are beyond excited to see both our parents and be back in our favorite city!
What I really wanted to talk about today was what we did last weekend…our little trip to Sonoma. Since living in the Bay Area, we have tried very hard to explore all of the amazing places around us (there are so many!), but still hadn’t made it up to wine country. So we planned a quick, 24-hour getaway up to Healdsburg, California (and I strategically planned it to fall on my birthday!).
We drove up from San Jose last Sunday morning, and since we planned to leave before traffic, it only took us about an hour and forty minutes to get there!! I was really shocked at how quickly we made it up there…like can we do this every weekend??
Healdsburg is the cutest little town in Sonoma County. Picture quaint shops, a town square, and amazing restaurants. You can walk the whole downtown in about 5 minutes, and it is so charming! Once we made it there on Sunday afternoon, we checked into our hotel, and went to lunch downtown at Healdsburg Bar and Grill. Because you NEED a burger and some garlic fries before an afternoon of wine tasting!
We made our way into the Alexander Valley region of Sonoma first. I’d say that from downtown Healdsburg, most of these wineries only took 10 minutes to get to! And I HAVE to give a shoutout to my friend Catheryn…her blog and Sonoma posts were serious lifesavers!! She has been to the area many times and has great recommendations!
We loved their chardonnay and their zinfandels! Plus, they have the most adorable pug there that I quickly became friends with 🙂
We went to this one per recommendation from the lady who poured for us at Alexander Valley. Nothing really blew us away, but the building and property are beautiful and they have a crazy statue out front! I think it was a dinosaur…
The best part about Soda Rock was that we made friends with a group who were wine club members at a bunch of local wineries. They invited us to meet them at their next winery for a free tasting and show us around!
Beautiful views and great wine! This one was extra fun for us since we received a more in depth tasting, explanations, and walked around the vineyards for a bit.
We left the Alexander Valley area and went over to the Dry Creek area for our last stop of the day. I would love to go back to this one at the beginning of the day, but we were so tired by this point, it was hard to appreciate the wines. We did really, really like their 45th anniversary Cabernet and bought a bottle to enjoy at dinner that night 🙂
After the wineries it was a quick nap, shower, and then we headed to dinner downtown! We decided to check out Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen and boy did it not disappoint!! First of all, you can bring in Sonoma wine without a corkage fee. What a great way to support local wineries! Not only that, but we had excellent service and the food was absolutely delicious. After some debate, we decided to do the tasting menu: five courses that they believe to be highlights on the menu at that time. And while I am still dreaming of that parmesan risotto, I can’t wait to try new dishes next time (and maybe the wine pairings)!
Now, while that was a pretty perfect day in my book, the following day (my birthday!) we took a tour of Jordan Winery. I’ll have to share that whole tour and experience in another post so stayed tuned! But let’s just say…it involved wine, cheese, and a chateau :))