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Spring in Wine Country is a gorgeous time of year. Yes, we have had some rainy days but it has made the hills turn green, we have experienced an explosion of wildflowers where the scars of the fires last year were, and the vines are budding! With warmer weather on the horizon now is a perfect time to plan your trip to experience spring in wine country and we have the perfect seasonal guide for your trip to our favorite little town, Healdsburg, CA!
Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar
403 Healdsburg Ave
Willi’s has long been a favorite of ours in Healdsburg. Their focus is on seafood and their raw bar (I guess you couldn’t guess that by the name… huh?) but they also have some amazing small plates on offer as well. Grab a seat at the bar and watch the masters work as they shuck oysters in front of you, put together amazing seafood plates, and create some of the best ceviche we have had this side of Lima.
Or on a gorgeous day snag a seat on their patio with friends. Open a few bottles of wine and be sure to order the ooey, gooey, delicious melted cheese and chorizo topped with pesto and served up with not house made corn chips. This is our go-to restaurant during spring in wine country no matter the weather.
312 Center St
With summer right around the corner and fresh fruits and veggies in abundance, you may want to take advantage of all that and stop at The Nectary. The Nectary is the place in town for fresh pressed juices, delicious and vibrant acai bowls, superfood smoothies, and more. If you feel in need of a refresh after indulging in all that wine and delicious food that Healdsburg is known for then you have to stop at The Nectary.
312 Center St
Campo Fina is one of our favorite stops for Negronis and burrata, oh ya, and bocce! This charming Italian restaurant doesn’t just have amazing food and cocktails but they also have a fantastic outdoor patio with two bocce ball courts. Campo Fina is the perfect place to spend a warm spring evening out on the patio for a game (competitive and fierce – if its Alex and me) of bocce ball with some cocktails or wine and wood-fired pizza. I mean, really, does anything sound better?
Healdsburg Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday Starting May 5
With the return of spring in wine country, we get the return of the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market. I seriously, cannot wait for the return of this market because there is so much amazing produce, flowers, artisan bread, dates (the date guy is the best), fresh fish and more available at the market! In addition, there is usually a coffee stand and a place to grab breakfast so you don’t have to sacrifice a delicious breakfast while you wander the market. You can be sure we will be shopping there quite frequently this spring!
109a Plaza St
When your favorite bar decides to open up a second space next door and team up with the chef of the Brass Rabbit and Chalkboard (See our Fall and Winter Guides to Wine Country for more!) you know it is going to be good. Styled after the idea of tapas or aperitivo, Duke’s Common offers small bites and a rotating family meal every day and late night for not only Duke’s Common but also the patrons next door at Duke’s. This is the perfect place if you have found yourself with too much alcohol and not enough food! In addition, their Yucatan style tacos took us straight back to Tulum and our love of cochinita pibil.
The small bites are perfect to share with one other person so you can sample a bunch including their mini corn dog bites, their mcchicken sandwich, the to die for disco fries, a falafel-rito (yes a falafel burrito), and so much more. In addition, they offer wines and on tap cocktails that you can’t find next door. So if you really want to start your night off right begin here and then head on over next door for some more cocktail fun.
13840 Healdsburg Ave
Wicked Slush is built for warm spring days. This quaint shack by the river has been serving up East Coast style slushes, similar to shaved ice, for the residents of Healdsburg for about a year and the people just won’t stop talking about how awesome it is. While it is located a bit out of town this is a perfect spot to grab a slush and take a walk down to the Russian River. Plus you won’t regret indulging in slushes and soft serve with flavors like black cherry, root beer, strawberry lemonade, birthday cake, papaya, and brown sugar cinnamon, just to name a few!
Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar
116 Matheson St
Even though we highlighted Noble Folk and Mustache Baked Goods in our Fall in Wine Country guide, we would be remiss if we neglected to mention the spring offerings especially with Noble Folk’s ice cream flavors. Spring is made for ice cream and lingering warm afternoons and Noble Folk knows how to satisfy with flavors like strawberry shortbread, red bean sesame crunch, raspberry white chocolate, red rose tea, mochi, Irish cream and chocolate stout, golden milk with violets and so much more.
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails
111 Plaza St
When your favorite bartenders come together to open up a craft cocktail bar together right on the plaza in downtown Healdsburg, you know it is going to be good. Duke’s feels like home. It is a bar where I feel comfortable ordering anything from a classic Manhattan to tiki cocktails to whiskey sours to spritz and really anything in between and know that
A. They are going to know how to make it
B. That it is going to be freaking delicious.
In addition, most of their ingredients are either made in-house or grown in their own gardens.
Add in the fact, that all the bartenders and workers are genuinely amazing people (They threw a fundraiser for our friend who was in a motorcycle accident and raised $8000 and they also donated all of their proceeds last October to fire relief!) and you may find yourself never wanting to leave.
Alex takes Duke’s cocktails very seriously!
When you come to visit during spring in Wine Country try to grab a seat at the tables at the windows because on nice days they are opened completely up so you can take advantage of a gorgeous day while sipping on their seasonal, fresh, craft cocktails.
Dry Creek Vineyard
3770 Lambert Bridge Rd
Spring in Wine Country for me means Sauvignon Blanc and if you are looking for Sauvignon Blanc then get yourself to Dry Creek Vineyard. This winery in Dry Creek Valley is not only the first winery in Dry Creek Valley after prohibition but they were also the first ones to begin planting Sauvignon Blanc! They have a range of delicious Sauvignon Blancs from the classic Fume Blanc with meyer lemon and lime notes that goes perfectly with oysters, or the Taylor’s Musque Clone that has intense orange and white peach notes with a hint of honeysuckle, or the DCV3 Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite) with kaffir lime, citrus zest, tangerine and grapefruit. Whatever Sauvignon Blanc style you love you will find the perfect one here for spring in Wine Country.
Oh did I mention, that they also have award-winning Zinfandels, a Meritage, a Petit Zin Rosé, Cabs and more!
*Disclaimer: I do work for Dry Creek Vineyard but they did not pay me to write this. I just love their Sauvignon Blanc!*
The Gallery Bar and Bistro
237 Center St
For years, Barndiva used to have a lovely gallery attached to their restaurant. This was the perfect space to relax and enjoy some art. But recently, they upgraded that experience by adding in a bar! (I mean, what is better than enjoying some art than enjoying said art with a cocktail?) The Gallery Bar and Bistro offers a fantastic list of artisanal spirits and craft cocktails like the “Why Bears Do It” with brown butter whiskey, a garden thyme syrup, and farm fresh apple juice and they also have a bistro-inspired food menu if you are feeling a little peckish.
Don’t forget to join them on Sunday nights either for their prix fixe French country suppers!
Passport to Dry Creek Valley
Dry Creek Valley
April 28th and 29th
One of the best ways to usher in spring in Wine Country is by attending Passport to Dry Creek Valley. This annual wine tasting is a tradition in Dry Creek Valley and this year there are over 40 wineries which you can visit to your heart’s desire with a ticket to Passport. Discover new wineries, stop at old favorites, and enjoy a gorgeous weekend in Wine Country.
Tickets are still on sale so get yours now before they sell out!
Two Thirty Five Luxury Suites
Healdsburg Flavors is a fantastic fundraiser for Healdsburg’s public schools where you can enjoy a progressive wine tasting along with local purveyors of anything from chocolate to goat cheese to dumplings, gin and more! Sip and eat your way through some of the best products Wine Country has to offer and know that 100% of the proceeds are benefitting our schools. It is such a great way to give back and enjoy spring in Wine Country!
Dry Creek Kitchen
Every Monday Starting March 19
Every Monday 50 wines at Dry Creek Kitchen are offered for 50% off. This is a perfect chance to enjoy a memorable meal at Charlie Palmer’s premier restaurant in Healdsburg and sample some amazing Sonoma County wines at a fantastic price. It sounds like a win-win for a Monday!
Music in the Plaza
Every Tuesday Starting May 29
If this isn’t our favorite event in Healdsburg, I don’t know what is. Music in the Plaza takes place every Tuesday in the heart of Healdsburg and pretty much the whole town shows up. Every Tuesday we set up our blankets with a picnic and ample wine and listen to new bands every week. There is dancing, great friends, food trucks and we never know who we are going to run in to. If you seriously want to understand what makes Healdsburg so great you should stop by for Music in the Plaza!
Spring in Wine Country has so much going on! You would truly be remiss if you didn’t come to visit us at least once during the spring. Take advantage of all of our fresh spring produce, newly released rosés, and take advantage of all the wonderful places to eat in town. We promise you won’t regret visiting Healdsburg and experiencing spring in Wine Country!
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