Sometimes when you make a visit to the wine country, you only have a day to do it. As I’ve said before, Sonoma County is better and has everything you need to get the full experience in just one day. Here’s a one-day itinerary modeled after my surprise birthday party in Healdsburg!
My best friend got me up and at’em under the ruse of wine tasting for her wedding wine. (P.S. That’s a wedding “chore” I will always agree to help with!) After she kindly suggested (and repeatedly re-suggested) I actually get ready and look presentable, we hit 101 North to Healdsburg to check out the wines at Seghesio Family Vineyards.
Seghesio is known for their Zinfandel – but I also love them for their house-made salumi because I love pork products more than I love most things. The estate is gorgeous. There is a picnic grove and twin bocce ball courts outside. Inside, their tasting bar overlooks the cellar and their latest hanging salumi projects. On this particular visit, 20 friends and family surprised me in the shade of their oak trees where we enjoyed more than a few bottles of their Vermentino, Arneis, Barbera and of course, their Zinfandel. A few gals crushed their boyfriends at bocce – and this writing immortalizes the proof of their victory (you’re welcome). Seghesio is perfect for a quick trip to Healdsburg. It’s close to the plaza and you are definitely in the heart of wine country.
After the shock of the surprise subsided (and after the bear’s share of a case was polished off), we headed to Campo Fina for great pizza, cocktails and more bocce! Campo Fina’s patio has such a great atmosphere. There is a full bar tucked in one corner and a bocce court smack dab in the middle and tons of shade. The staff are always great, but this time, they accommodated the very fun and specific request of having a signature cocktail menu for my birthday.
Between Campo Fina and our dinner reservation, we walked around the square. We stopped into the galleries and boutiques that line the short streets. One shop that always has very cute women’s clothes is Punch. They carry a bunch of local designers so you can wear your wine country pride in whichever city you call home.
We ended up at Bravas de Tapas for dinner. As the name suggests, Bravas serves traditional and modern Spanish style tapas. One of the best things they make is their paella. On Friday and Saturday nights they make it on the patio and it’s beautiful and fun to watch! Don’t worry though, you can always order it from the kitchen; just be prepared for a 30-minute cook time. It is very worth it! We sat on their spacious patio surrounded by orange trees and lights. I finished off the evening with a round of rum balls for the table and an order to go, because well, it was my birthday and I’ll double rum ball if I want to.