Are you an average wine enthusiast just looking to taste fermented grapes? This itinerary is not for you. But if you enjoy exploring the unknown and trying new things, take a look and start planning your Barrel Tasting strategy. This is a breakdown of some of the “off the wall” wineries along the Wine Road.
Dry Creek/ Geyserville/ Healdsburg
- David Coffaro Winery (also open Fridays and welcomes large groups), run by the man himself, David Coffaro brings personalization to an industry that can tend to hide behind the wines instead of step out in front of them. You can read about Dave’s day-to-day experiences in his online diary. There you can read how he has spent hours to comply with out of state distribution laws to appease just a few club members.
- Hawley Winery (also welcomes large groups) is located off the Healdsburg square and offers something delicious for your eyes as well as your mouth. The Hawleys don’t just showcase their wine but also their family art. From barrel art and furniture to oil painting, you will get a kick out of tasting and admiring the creative side of wine.
- The well-hidden secret of Kachina Vineyards (open Friday) resides in Dry Creek Valley off a small and narrow dirt road. Watch out for the inconspicuous sign because that is the only implication of its whereabouts. Tastings are usually by appointment only so dropping in on an event weekend makes the terrace and bocce tastings accompanied by the Kachina lambs is a special treat!
- Join the locals at Locals (welcoems groups)tasting room in Geyserville. A unique town in itself, Locals harnesses that peculiar vibe and serves as a co-op tasting room so you get to taste more than just one winemaker’s product. Plus you can dress like a local with the cool swag.
- Longboard’s Tasting Room in Healdsburg is off the beaten path but offers a roomy surfer’s paradise. Known for their Hawaiian flair, Longboard Vineyards harnesses “hakuna matata” and “hang loose” in their relaxed lounge as well as their wines.
- Another off the grid of Healdsburg winery is Manzanita Creek (open Friday). Known for its two hip winemaker buddies and their mascot dog, these winemakers know the definition of low key and how to showcase the purity of wine.
- Mercury Wines (open Friday) has a face, and it isn’t the owner and winemaker Brad, but his black lab Freddie. Located in the hip Geyserville, which Freddie says is “60 yards of awesome,” Mercury wines serves up Bordeaux wines with style.
- Route 128 (welcomes large groups and open Friday) is the only highway that serves wine, my favorite. The tasting room resides in Geyserville among many other hip tasting rooms.
- F.Teldeschi (welcomes large groups and open Friday) stands for Frank Teldeschi, the father of Dan, the winemaker, and John, the vineyard manager. This old farm resides next to the Dry Creek General Store. Teldeschi gives you a rustic tasting experience with wine that has been in the family for generations.
For your Russian River Off the Wall itinerary