Pick up a room key at Hotel Healdsburg (from $385; hotelhealdsburg. com), a modern antidote to Wine Country’s typical Victorian fluff.
Stop in at Spoke Folk Cyclery (bike rentals $10 per hour; 201 Center St.; 707/433-7171) for advice on routes and to rent a bike if you didn’t bring one.
Pedal out to Dry Creek Vineyard (tasting from $5; 3770 Lambert Bridge Rd.; drycreekvineyard.com) for a glass of Heritage Zin from the first family to put in grapes after Prohibition.
Back in town, you’ll find great housemade pasta at Scopa ($$; 109A Plaza St.; 707/433-5282).
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Pick up some cheeses at the Dry Creek General Store (closed Sun; 3495 Dry Creek Rd.; dcgstore.com), then choose your picnic wine at Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves (tasting from $5; 9711 West Dry Creek Rd.; bellawinery.com).
Swing by Amphora Winery, pictured, (tasting from $5; 4791 Dry Creek, Bldg. 6; 707/431-7767) before dinner at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen ($$$; 317 Healdsburg Ave.; 707/431-0330).
Order the ultimate Dry Creek pairing―pork two ways, with a bottle of A. Rafanelli Zin.
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Make one more loop around the valley, stopping to fill a jug and, hopefully, to buy some of Lou’s freshly baked bread at Preston of Dry Creek (tasting from $5, 3-liter jug of wine $32; 9282 West Dry Creek; prestonvineyards.com) and to check out the gorgeous bar at Lambert Bridge Winery, pictured, (tasting from $10; 4085 West Dry Creek; lambertbridge.com), made from a single redwood tree felled in Sebastopol.
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Make it in March
The first two weekends in March, many local wineries open their cellar doors and line up the tasting glasses as part of the Wine Road’s Barrel Tasting event (wineroad.com). A complimentary Wine Road map is the key to exploring the glories of the area and is available online at www.wineroad.com.