We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
*Updated 10.18.17 to include information on the North Bay Fires
Fall is one of our favorite seasons and after almost nine months of summer, we are looking forward to fall in wine country. To celebrate our favorite season in one of our favorite places we wanted to share with you our favorite (are you getting the theme?) fall-themed activities, things to eat, and drink in Healdsburg, CA. (And no pumpkin spice lattes are not on the list)
So without further ado here is
Fall in Wine Country | An Autumnal Guide to Healdsburg, CA
Fall is the perfect time to eat all those hearty dishes you have slowly been dreaming about during summer and can now indulge in thanks to cooler weather. The temperature has finally dropped below an inferno to make soups and hearty dishes desirable again. In addition, fall is full of amazing produce and you really should be taking advantage of all that this season has to offer. So here are our favorite eats during fall in Wine Country.
The Black Piglet
Davis Family Vineyards
52 Front Street
The Black Piglet is a food truck from Zazu Kitchen based at Davis Family Vineyards on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October. They are known for just one thing, a you-pick your own tomato BLT. Walk through the garden, pick yourself the perfectly ripe tomato and let them cook you up one of the simplest yet flavorful sandwiches out there. Finish off this classic with a glass of wine and there will be no finer fall afternoon.
7878 Dry Creek Road
What goes with wine better than pizza? Especially when it is homemade woodfired pizza! Join Trattore Winery every Sunday through October to get a taste of their delicious pizzas made with their house olive oil and local ingredients plus enjoy an Estate Wine Tasting and Olive Oil tasting as well. You will end your weekend relaxed and happy. What more could you ask for?
Oh, also, did we mention that Trattore is donating all of their profits for the next TWO months to the victims of the fire?!? How awesome is that? We definitely see some pizza in our future!
The Brass Rabbit
109 Plaza Street
The Brass Rabbit is a fairly new restaurant in Healdsburg that is known for its comfort foods. Come here for the daily specials like Julia Child’s beef bourguignon or the old school classic, Lobster Thermidor. These hearty classics are perfect for warming up in fall. Also, don’t miss the chance to order a martini with their foie gras stuffed olives and make sure someone in your party orders their rabbit dish which changes seasonally but is always delicious. Seriously, if you are looking for some upscale California comfort food you have to book a table at The Brass Rabbit.
Moustache Baked Goods and Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar
381 Healdsburg Ave and 116 Matheson St. (Respectively)
Everyone should welcome in fall with a cupcake in one hand and pie a la mode in the other. Too indulgent? No, we don’t think so especially when we have Mustache Baked Goods and Noble Folk walking distance from each other. These two shops are owned by the same wonderful team and they have been producing phenomenal cupcakes, cakes, pies, and ice cream since locals Osvaldo Jimenez and Christian Sullberg first opened up Mustache Baked Goods in 2011.
Plus they both have delicious seasonal flavors to celebrate fall in Wine Country!
Mustache Baked Goods is rocking these fall flavors:
The Local – made with almonds and local fig jam
The Local 2 – made with almond, chocolate, and strawberries
The Butcher – Vanilla and maple bacon
The Mister – local Gravenstein apple spice and caramel
The Noble Folk is always switching up their menus but here is just a taste of the seasonal flavors:
English Breakfast and Honey Crumble
Dry Creek Peach Sorbet
Buttermilk Berry Crumble
Oh ya and then there are the pies: Apple Spice Pie, Chocolate Mud Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie and Blood Orange and Raspberry Pie
Are you guys hungry yet?
25 North St.
We have raved about Shed before (especially if you follow us on Instagram) and this local grange which is a combination of local coffee shop, grocery where you can pick up local produce, freshly baked bread, charcuterie, local herbs, spices, honey, and restaurant serving up fresh local cuisine all year long is the perfect place to celebrate all the bounty fall in Wine Country has to offer.
Their menus change daily based on what is available but here is just a taste of what it could contain:
Autumn Melon Salad with tomatillo, Indian blood orange preserves, and Urfa chile
Roasted Baby Carrots with black walnut puree, plums, bokharat (an Arabic 7 blend spice), and red frill mustard
Grass-Fed Beef Tartare with pomegranate, Sonora wheat berries, Little Gems, and sumac
Braised Liberty Farms Duck Leg with huitlacoche (known as the Mexican truffle), smoked tomatillo, elderberries and roasted peppers
In addition to all the wonderful dishes and fresh local products they also offer seasonal shrubs which are an old-fashioned drink made from fruit, vinegar, and sugar, and they offer all kinds of seasonally themed classes. They offer classes ranging from a Mezcal lesson to dinners with different local wineries to a fall colors natural dye workshop. Make sure to check out all of their amazing events here!
Shed is currently donating 15% of their sales both online and in person to Fire Relief through October 22nd.
Sunday Brunch at Cafe Lucia
235 Healdsburg Ave.
Cafe Lucia is one of our go to restaurants in Healdsburg. It is a Portuguese restaurant that is serving up traditional Portuguese dishes with local ingredients like Caldo Verde, Portugal’s national soup of potato thickened beef consomme and collard greens and linguica, and the Bacalhau no Forno, a hearty dish of salt cod cooked in the oven with potatoes, onions and olives both of which are made for indulging in during fall in Wine Country.
In addition to their hearty Portuguese dishes, they have also started serving brunch this fall. Their patio is the perfect place for a lazy weekend brunch with Portuguese twists on classic brunch items. They have the Franchesinha, a Portuguese wet sandwich with pork loin, ham, linguiça, cheese, fried egg, Piri Piri fries, “francesinha” sauce (this bad boy is hearty!), a Portuguese inspired french toast made with traditional Portuguese sweet bread, and malasadinhas or Portuguese donuts. Dig in!
West Plaza Parking Lot
The Farmers’ Market in Healdsburg takes place every Saturday through November and is chock full of local produce, fresh seafood (seriously, one guy sells sushi grade fish at the market!), local cheeses, dates (the date guy is my favorite), fresh brewed coffee, locally made pastries and so much more. Come here to grab a breakfast or do your shopping for the week or pick up picnic supplies for wine tasting. Just make sure to take a stroll around the market to see all the bounty fall in Wine Country can offer! In addition to all the wonderful local eats, in November there will also be a craft market here as well.
While we don’t really believe that there is a season for wine, we have managed to put together a list of our seasonal favorites to drink for fall in Wine Country. You may notice that there is no pumpkin spice latte on this list either. We wanted to go beyond the normal and share a few different things!
44 Mill Street
Sonoma Cider has been a cider staple here in Healdsburg since they first started brewing up cider back in 2013. However, a new chapter has started for them with the opening of their taproom and the fall makes it a perfect time to indulge in their ciders. Go for one of the classics like The Hatchet, their original apple cider, or The Pitchfork, their pear cider. Or opt for one of their seasonal specialties. There is The Pulley which is done in an absinthe style for those of you who like something funky and unique. You also must try The Gravenstein which is the famous local apple varietal which is a micro-release of theirs.
Essentially, it is apple season so don’t miss out on a chance to drink as much apple cider as possible during fall in Wine Country!
All across the county wineries are starting and finishing up wine harvest and celebrating with a party. Find your favorite winery and head out to one of their harvest parties! You won’t be limited on options here in Healdsburg!
Alex is certainly ready to celebrate the end of harvest!
Alley 6 Craft Distillery
1401 Grove Street
As the weather cools and you sit by the fire be sure you are sipping on one of our favorite local distilleries, Alley 6. Located in Healdsburg, this distillery is serving up some delicious small batch rye whiskey and single malt whiskey. In addition to their whiskey, they also made a seasonal harvest gin made from the leftover viognier grapes (pomace) as a base. Head to their tasting room and sample their offerings and you might just find yourself bringing a bottle home!
Taste of Tea
109 North Street
The Taste of Tea is the perfect spot to relax on a chilly day. You can indulge in their extensive tea list from siphon pot infusions, blooming blossom teas, and even mixologist crafted teas blended with different syrups and sugars. In addition to a fabulous tea list, they also have a lunch and dinner menu that includes bento boxes, ramen, curry ramen, udon, teriyaki and more! Also, schedule some time to relax in their relaxation room and their green tea treatments including a foot soak and a facial.
Sunset Cocktails at Alexander Valley Bar
3487 Alexander Valley Road
We know that fall means the end of long summer days but with fall in Wine Country, you can really appreciate those early nights by catching a sunset at Alexander Valley Bar. This wine tasting room turned bar in the evening is located in the heart of Alexander Valley and is surrounded by vineyards. There really is not a more picturesque spot to catch the sunset in town with a delicious drink! Sip on your corpse reviver as the sun sets over the valley and you will realize what makes fall in Wine Country so special!
Join Alexander Valley Bar this Friday Night, October 20th for a fundraiser to support the victims of the North Bay Fires. Elevated Cocktail Hour Wildfire Benefit wants to help our community rebuild through what we do best: wine, food, and friends. Proceeds will go to California Growers Association and Rebuild Wine Country. Buy tickets here.
There is so much going on during fall in Wine Country that we could probably write a novel on it. However, we wanted to give you a taste of the few things that are happening here in the next couple months. One of the reasons we love living here so much is the fact that there is always something going on!
The Beauty and Bounty of Fall
One of the best ways to really embrace the bounty of fall is through flowers and Dragonfly Floral is offering a floral design class on October 25 to help you capture the beauty and bounty of fall. Be sure to reserve soon though before their classes fill up!
Live Music at Sonoma Cider
Throughout the fall Sonoma Cider will be hosting live music. They host a range of local bands including one of our favorites, The Dixie Giants (although sadly they don’t have any more fall shows at Sonoma Cider as far as we know). In addition to live music they also have trivia on Wednesdays and Open Mic night as well. Be sure to check their facebook page for all the upcoming events!
On Sunday, October 21st Sonoma Cider will be hosting a Fire Relief Benefit Concert with Two Lions Band, Three for Silver, and Fast Heart Mart to benefit those impacted by the recent Sonoma County Fires. All proceeds will be going to Rebuild Sonoma Fund.
Geyserville Beer Wine Spirits Festival
Geyserville is a quaint town just north of Healdsburg and they are hosting the second annual Beer Wine Spirits Festival on October 7th. Taste the best that Sonoma County has to offer in the alcoholic beverage category with this awesome festival that takes place from 12-4pm this Saturday! In addition, each ticket benefits the local Geyserville schools so you will be doing something good as well!
Sonoma County Harvest Fair
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is a grand tasting and competition in Sonoma County. Come out and taste all the participants at this annual grand tasting. Who knows with over 100 Sonoma County wineries you may just find a new favorite! If you can remember them all that is…
Wine and Food Affair
Wine and Food Affair is an annual wine tasting that takes place throughout Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valley – the three wine regions that surround Healdsburg. Get a taste of all the bountiful offerings this area has with this grand tasting where you can hop between wineries tasting their wine and their favorite wine pairing recipes! With this tasting it’s not just about the wine but the wine pairings!
Weekend Along the Farm Trails
October 14 and 15
Get a peek at farm life with a Weekend Along the Farm Trails in Sebastopol. It isn’t all wine here and this is a chance to look at all the other products we produce here in wine country. Hop in the car and head to these farms to see what they do from milking cows to harvesting honey, sample their products and maybe take some fresh pumpkins home with you! Also, did we mention you can cuddle with baby animals?? Most of the activities are free to so be sure signup to save the date!
Alexander Valley Film Festival – Movies to Benefit Fire Relief and Healing
October 19 – 22
The third annual Alexander Film Festival is taking place across Healdsburg, Geyserville, and Cloverdale with 46 events and screenings across 7 theaters. The film festival aims to share a mix of local and independent films that showcases new and emerging talents from around the world.
Check out their website for dates and films. The Film Festival will also now be a fundraiser with all funds going to the Community Foundation Sonoma County Resilience Fund. Currently, they have raised $50,000 (!) and all proceeds from the film festival will be donated as well!
Healdsburg Farmers’ Market Pumpkin Festival
In addition to having a fabulous Farmers’ Market every Sunday we also will be having a Pumpkin Festival on October 28. Come out for the 33rd annual pumpkin festival where you can carve, decorate and race your pumpkin. These competitions will be open to all ages from 3 – Adult so everyone can take part! Be sure to join in the fun from 8:30 am to Noon!
Dia de Los Muertos in Healdsburg Plaza Presented by Corazon Healdsburg
Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos with Corazon Healdsburg and the City on October 29 in the plaza. Gather with our neighbors and friends and join with Corazon to celebrate the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. Corazon Healdsburg is dedicated to bridging the economic and racial divisions in our town and that is something we can all get on board with!
Open Mic Night at Healdsburg Taproom
Every Thursday Night
Not only does Healdsburg Taproom host Open Mic Night every Thursday night but they also are the place to go if you are looking for a huge range of craft beers and cigars. They specialize in hard to find small-batch brews that often aren’t available outside of a brewery’s taproom. So grab a unique beer and settle in to listen to the local talent every Thursday from 5 pm to close and get there early to take advantage of their happy hour from 3-6!
Pinot on the River
Are you just absolutely obsessed with Pinot and want to taste over 100 different Pinots in a gorgeous setting? Then you have to make your way to Pinot on the River on October 22. This annual tasting specializes in Pinot, of course, and will also have a host of artisan food vendors as well. So all you Pinot lovers better get your tickets before they sell out!
In the wake of the fires, many fundraisers have popped up. We will continue to update this list to include as many as we can. More than ever, Sonoma County needs your love. Come visit us, drink our wine, stay here and support our small local businesses. Every little bit helps!
Cash & King – A Concert Tribute
Cash & King is a rocking tribute concert with the music of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash at the Raven Performing Arts Theater. Dress in your finest 50’s attire and attend this rocking high energy concert. 100% of your ticket purchase and donations will go to the victims of the fires. Buy your tickets and join our community for a night of fun and music!
Taste of Anderson Valley
Anderson Valley is hosting a tasting event in San Francisco to share the wines of their valley and they will be donating 50% of the profits from their silent auction to fire relief. 33 wineries and 1 cider house will be pouring their wine and cider and donating large format bottles. The fires didn’t just affect Sonoma County but also Mendocino County so let’s help them rebuild too! Get your tickets now!
Peterson Winery Fall Harvest Benefit
Peterson Winery is hosting a Fall Harvest Benefit Party to raise money for Redwood Credit Union’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund. This free event will be hosting a raffle where you can win anything from wine gift box sets, magnums and more. In addition, all profits from the sales of their 2014 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel will be going to the California State Firefighters Association. We can’t think of a better way to say thank you to the men and women who worked so tirelessly to protect our lives, homes, and livelihoods!
Additional Fire Resources and Donation Centers
Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund – Redwood Credit Union is donating 100% of all money collected to the victims of the fires across the North Bay. You can choose to donate to a specific county (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino or Lake County) or to all of them.
Redwood Empire Food Bank – Redwood Empire Food Bank is accepting both financial donations and ready-to-eat non-perishable food donations. You can drop them off at 3990 Brickway Blvd.
Graton Day Labor Center – Graton Day Labor Center and other advocacy groups are collecting funds to help the undocumented families that were affected by the fires. Help support the undocumented families who have lost everything.
Rebuild Wine Country – Rebuild Wine Country is donating 100% of all funds collected through YouCaring.com. They also have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help repair and rebuild homes across Sonoma County.
Northern California Fire Resource – This is a wonderful resource for all fire information from housing, donations, fundraisers, and evacuations centers.
Sonoma Proud – A wonderful list of all the businesses across Sonoma County that have helped in one way or another from feeding first responders, donating food to evacuees, donating shelter supplies, and giving space for setting up evacuation centers.
Shop Our Wine Country Line on Society6
In addition to all of these wonderful resources, we also have put together a Wine Country Line where 100% of the profits will be donated to Redwood Credit Union. Support Wine Country with a purchase of one of these items!
One of the best ways to help Sonoma County to rebuild is to come visit us. More than ever Sonoma County is here to welcome you with open arms. Drink our wine, shop local and eat local. We hope to see you this fall in Wine Country! #SonomaCountyStrong
Fall in Wine Country is certainly a special time! With all that is going on can you tell why we decided to settle back in our favorite little town in the whole world? Plus coming home to wine country in the fall is truly an experience. Come join us in the fun in Healdsburg, CA!
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