6 funky wine tours in Healdsburg

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Sometimes the best way to experience an unfamiliar part of Wine Country is to let the local experts lead the way.

In Healdsburg, where some of the best wineries are off the beaten track, this strategy almost always leads to some exhilarating discoveries. The region is home to a handful of different tour operators, with two new outfitters joining the mix last summer. Here, organized in alphabetical order, six guided tours guarantee you a new perspective on wine tasting.

Party bikes are fun on wheels, and the latest transit offering in downtown Healdsburg is no exception. Dubbed the Bike Healdsburg, the craft can accommodate up to 13 passengers at a time, and just about everyone has to pedal to move it. The outfitter started in the summer of 2018 and now offers three different circuits: one is a heavier workout; we stop in the vineyards of the city; the third pedal is through a progressive dinner in several restaurants.

The most popular offering, dubbed Wine Tasting and Nibbles, lasts three hours and includes a visit to a local art gallery, stops at three wineries in downtown Healdsburg, and a tasting at Young & Yonder, a distillery. local. Perhaps the only downside to the Bike Healdsburg experiences is that the city currently doesn’t allow passengers to drink on board – a reality owner Jessica Bangs hopes to change in the years to come. www.Bikehealdsburg.com. $ 20 to $ 149 per person.

The bespoke personalized tours of this family-owned Sonoma outfitter are both intimate and luxurious. Each experience pairs up to seven passengers with a guide in a classic but modernized Land Rover Defender or rigged Mercedes Sprinter van.

The farm tour, one of the most popular offerings, passes through parts of Healdsburg and the Russian River Valley and stops at working organic farms where visitors can harvest eggs and vegetables. The same tour visits private (and family) wineries for tastings and other experiences, many of which are led by the owners or the winemakers themselves.

Drivers provide coolers filled with snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. Of course, passengers can also drink their own wine along the way. The company launched last summer and offers a variety of tours throughout the western part of Sonoma County and elsewhere in the region.

www.Bohohwy.com. $ 95 per hour, plus a few tasting fees.

The 2-hour Russian River Vineyard Tour from Healdsburg Segway begins in the Park-and-Ride parking lot south of downtown. After a 20-minute driving tutorial, guests visit two nearby wineries.

The trip passes vineyards at eye level, and along the way, guides feast guests with information about the Russian River growing region – in particular, what makes it so well suited for Pinot Noir.

While the tour includes tasting fees at participating wineries, most waive these fees when making a purchase. Fortunately, the bags on the front of each Segway contain two bottles of wine. www.Segwayofhealdsburg.com.

$ 99 per person, plus some

tasting fees. $ 15 off with the code SONOMASTRONG

at the register.

Explore downtown Healdsburg on foot with one of the tours of this outfitter, which has been in town for nearly a decade. Owners Harold and Kirsten Jones lead three different epicurean tours – a two-hour walk that highlights appetizers and specialty cocktails, a four-hour excursion that connects a series of food and wine pairings, and a four-hour extravaganza which introduces participants to some of the city’s best-known artisans (the local marketing organization calls them “creators of taste”).

The last of these three is by far the most popular; Over an afternoon and evening on select Thursdays throughout the year, guests will meet chef Mateo Granados and mixologist Alex Vlastnik, and enjoy a sit-down dinner with wine pairing at the Williamson Wines. If you’re interested in a wider range of experiences, Wine Country Walking Tours even offers a six-hour tour that includes flower arrangements and a cooking class.

www.winecountrywalkingtours.com. $ 59 to $ 249 per person.

People love this operator’s personalized wine tours because of the catchy name of owner Jonathan Garner’s original Mercedes Sprinter van: The Wine-A-Bay-Go. The interior of the pickup looks like a private plane, with hardwood floors, eight-passenger leather captain’s chairs, and a nightclub-quality audio system.

A second van offers similar equipment, as well as USB ports at each seat. For customers who prefer smaller (and more energy efficient) trips, there’s also a Tesla Model X SUV.

The itineraries of the visits differ each time; Garner questions each customer about their preferences and requests, then selects wineries in the Alexander, Russian River, and Dry Creek valleys based on the bulk of the responses. All tours include tasting fees and a gourmet lunch. Some wine experiences also include additional installments, in part thanks to long-standing working relationships. www.healdsburgtours.com. $ 90 to $ 120 an hour.

Pedal 15 to 20 miles through the heart of the Dry Creek Valley on day tours from this outfitter in the back of town. Tours last around six hours and typically include tasting stops at a couple of wineries before a gourmet picnic (with more wine) from the Oakville grocery store in town.

Along the way, guides stop to share information about the area and encourage patrons to descend and browse a vineyard with 90-year-old vines. At some stops, guides will also hire a winemaker, asking the expert to answer questions from the group about the process of turning grapes into wine. The company even offers a purchase pickup service that collects the wine you buy and brings it back to the tour center to be kept until the end of the tour.

Most tours take place on Trek Verve 3 hybrid bikes; Hourly bike rentals are also available for self-guided tours. www.Winecountrybikes.com, $ 139 per person.

Matt Villano is a freelance writer at Healdsburg. Email: [email protected]


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