Downtown Healdsburg: Walking Tour
Starting out on a rather gray, soft, foggy morning at Kendall-Jackson Healdsburg - going to meet with Will and Frank, two two of my favorite downtown Healdsburg tasting room personalities-
For so early on a weekday, the joint is jumping and the bar is full- I meet a family visiting from Wisconsin who are using our Ticket to the Wine Road. Janis, who purchased the Ticket, has a good, fun group and they are enjoying the wines, Frank, Will and new staffer, Alison.
Being in Will’s office brings back all the back office stuff from my days of working at K-J, and today I even get to work with customers a little bit at the bar while Will was busy out there. Great fun to represent Wine Road and explain what we do to guests who recognize me from our website!
Will and I also discuss the destination chateau of the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center, surrounded by lovely gardens, walnut trees and vineyards. They offer great Wine & Food Pairings, tours of the Culinary Gardens, Demonstration Vineyards, and Sensory Evaluation Gardens where herbs and flowers imitate and emulate the flavors and aromas of wine. Their Heirloom Tomato Festival coming up 12 September, benefits children’ s garden projects in the North Bay- a great cause and a great event- I used to work it during my K-J days. I never knew there were so many types of tomato….see? Avoid the plural, just like Dan Quayle should have: potato tomato- that’s it!
Walking south now and then around the Healdsburg Plaza, I arrive at Selby Winery on Center Street, just moments away. Meeting with Julie, we go over All Things Wine Road and their Wine Road web page. Again, busy time at the bar- Julie has customers who ask about the newly opened Spoonbar at the h2hotel.
She is busy- I occupy myself admiring the cool tasting room with it’s framed Wine Road Barrel Tasting poster and interesting space outside under the wisteria.
Julie and Susie Selby are very much hands-on in the tasting room- personal service all the way! Bright, sunny and cheerful TR!
Walking south again, Longboard Vineyards is just a quick few blocks away. No need for a car – especially as Longboard (and most of our member wineries) are happy to help transport wine purchased to your lodging- I am playing at being the visitor just out for a stroll- so far, working very well.
My appointment is with Megan, Tasting Room/Social Media Guru, but since she is busy with guests, I wander about a bit and serendipitously end up meeting Oded Shakked, proprietor, winemaker, surf fellow who says thus:
“Relax, it’s only frickin’ wine… enjoy it with food you like and trust nothing but your own palate.”
I like that philosophy- and it is so cool to meet Oded- and Megan- truly gracious, knowledgeable and fun with her customers, she sends them outside to the Longboard picnic table for their lunch with glasses of their chosen wine- hard to beat such a great combo- and the boards and the Maverick photos are just awesome- great TR, great bar, comfy leather furniture to sink into….
Next stop (and easily walkable- with the Wine Delivery Services from Wine Road members!): Camellia Cellars! My appointment is with Bruce and Chris- and of course, Chris is sister to Lucy at Camellia Inn- same famille.
I am greeted by Bruce and Chris and also Mario, their Wonder Dog:
Mario engages in extreme friendliness with me and also a child who was visiting the Front Street Wineries area- Bruce and Chris were also extremely kind.
Camellia Cellars is open every day for tasting- come on by! Great wines- some of my favorites include cabs- both Chris and Bruce are extremely helpful and friendly- dad Ray Lewand happened by when I was there- you may recall that the late Del Lewand and I were Gamma Phis:
Walking back towards the Healdsburg Plaza, I am thumbprint cellars bound! Appointment with Daniel–
thumbprint cellars- Scott and Erica- are all favorites of mine- after all, they make their wine right next door to the Wine Road office! Daniel is great- friendly, knowledgeable, gracious, kind- we talk all about thumbprint and he offers me their full, new thumbprint cellars Food & Wine Pairing- oh my goodness- it is exquisitely done- just perfect in the pairings of the thumbprint wines with spot on pairings of just the perfect foods- I loved it! Of course, one note on this is: when you are the only one tasting something, as discreet as staff may be about watching you, still ends up in a wee bit of amusing, embarrassed chewing and swallowing- on my part- that has always been something about me – hard to eat in front of folks who are interested in what I think.
More soon- TR