Sapphire Hill Vineyards has been a small, boutique winery ever since it first opened in 1989, and that is just the way that the staff likes it. Owners Lisa and Chris Mulcahy are content with keeping their production limited and manageable, which gives their team more freedom to experiment with new varietals and slightly different wine-making techniques, occasionally making as few as 24 cases of a particular wine just to see what it tastes like. Even when experimenting though, every wine is intended to be a pure representation of the character of Sonoma fruit. This is evident in the winery's current releases, such as a Russian River Valley chardonnay that is aged in used oak for 16 months, lending a rounded toastiness to the grapes' crisp citrus notes, as well as in the Dry Creek zinfandel—harvested from 70-year-old vines—which balances its dark berry flavors with a peppery streak and fine tannic backbone.
Mutt Lynch Winery owner Brenda Lynch loves wine and dogs, so it makes sense that her winery seamlessly integrates these two interests. Both Dog Fancy and Wine Advocate have praised Brenda for her dog-friendly winery, where canines and their owners can tour the facilities and sample several tasty wines. Cleverly named varietals range from the 2009 Merlot Over and Play Dead to the 2007 Portrait of a Mutt Zinfandel, while series include the limited production "mbf"—man’s best friend. Not only does Lynch oversee the winemaking process, she also donates a portion of the proceeds of every bottle to support local animal rescue organizations.
Led by experts in both local history and wine production, Healdsburg Wine Tasting & History Walking Tours is a feast for the mind and senses. On tours that run two hours, guests have the chance to see, smell, and taste what makes Healdsburg such a popular stop on visits to Sonoma's world-famous wine country. Follow a path along the town's quaint gazebos, scenic green spaces, and historic central plaza, stopping to taste wines or take in a brief history lesson. At each tasting room, the guides provide background information on five wines, expounding on everything from their flavor profiles to their favorite books.
Healdsburg Golf Club carves through Wine Country, loping over undulating terrain marked by mature fir trees and views of Dry Creek Valley. Before taking the course, limber up on the all-weather driving range, with 18 stalls spread over three tiers that allow golfers to smack 300-yard drives or attempt to sink a two-story practice putt. The nine-hole course wraps well-manicured fairways around doglegs and surrounds greens with an entourage of bunkers and rolling mounds. Though suited for beginners, the course is a test for players of abilities, challenging golfers to hit a variety of shots, from long drives down par 5s to bicycle kicks past the goalkeeper on the eighth green. Golfers can relax after their rounds with a relaxing meal at the club’s bar and outdoor patio. The elevated patio overlooks the course as it fades into a sea of trees, misty mountains lining the horizon, and a wormhole leading to a secret nine-hole course on the moon.
Course at a Glance
Each of Balloon Over Napa Sonoma’s FAA-certified hot air balloon pilots maintain a perfect safety record in their gentle, slow flights over the Napa Valley, even after logging thousands of in-flight hours for private and commercial licenses. Though they've tamed thermals over five continents, each has returned to the valley to showcase local winery estates on ever-changing tours that never follow a set path, but instead follow the whim of the breezes. Other guides take passengers on chauffeured limousine rides to visit those same vineyards to sample their wines at the ground level to avoid forcing winemakers to test out their accuracy with a fire hose. :m]]
For over 50 years, Windsor Vineyards has been producing award-winning wines for every occasion. In keeping with its tradition of personally hand-writing custom labels on their wines, today, customers are invited to add their own special message or greeting. Wine clubs grant customers a vine-sourced passport to a world of varietals, shipping bottles throughout the year.