If you don’t already know about the Sonoma wine tasting Visa benefit, make sure you read this post first! On this day, we decided to head north of Santa Rosa towards the Healdsburg area. Most of the Visa Sonoma Wine Tasting Benefit wineries are around Healdsburg so you have a lot of places to chose from. Here’s a map I made so you can visually see where all the wineries are. We chose these three wineries below because they were all dog-friendly and relatively close together. Although, we did have to backtrack a little to get to our wineries due to the time slots that were available that day.
Disclaimer: This is not a partnership blog post with Visa. This is solely my experience using the Sonoma Wine Tasting Visa Benefit and all opinions are of my own.
What I Wore
If you are planning on doing wine tasting right, you better make sure you look at the weather since it can fluctuate greatly between day and night. When we went during Memorial Day Weekend, it was close to 90 degrees on some days. Since it was so hot, I wanted to wear something loose and comfortable. I found these wide-leg pants at Zara and I fell in love. The pants are super lightweight and flowy. I’m 5’2″ and the pants do touch the ground a little even with my platform wedges on so just keep that in mind. I’m usually an XS, but when looking at the waistband at the store, it seemed way too small for me. So I opted to go for the S instead. To be honest, the waistband on the S still feels a little tight, but not uncomfortable. I also bought the white top at Zara as well to go with the pants.
Where to Get Lunch
If you want to find someplace to stop and get a quick lunch, I highly recommend Dry Creek General Store. It’s a very cute market and sandwich shop where you can pick up food or eat it outside on their patio. I recommend ordering the Dry Creek Stacker and make sure you share with someone. That sandwich is HUGE and will definitely fill you up. If you have more time in the day and maybe are only doing two wine tastings instead of three, I encourage you to go to the actual town of Healdsburg and eat at Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar or Valette. I’ve been to both places and both serve up fantastic food to satisfy any craving. Also, I haven’t been there yet, but SingeThread is on the top of my dream restaurant list! This is definitely a place for a special occasion but wanted to mention it anyway.
This might not make a difference to a lot of you, but I thought I would share my opinion on the types of tasting procedures wineries offer. Usually, they will serve you one wine at a time in the same glass or all of the wines at once in their own glass. My preference is usually to have all the wines at once so I can taste them side by side but I do understand why some wineries choose to pour one at a time (less glassware, optimum wine temperature, etc.). Let’s be clear though, this is just a preference by no means do I seek out one or the other. I just thought it would add this piece of information for each winery below for anyone who cares!
VISA DEAL: BOGO FREE SONOMA WINE TASTING ($30 FOR 4 WINES)
Address: 2859 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Notes: The service at Mauritson was absolutely top-notch! While we were walking from the parking lot, our wonderful host came out to greet us with a bonus tasting before we even got to the table. She poured us all a glass and walked us over to our table. She handed us the menus and I noticed that they printed my name and the date on them, which I thought was a nice touch. I absolutely love that type of attention and service. They also let you bring your own snacks in case you wanted to have your own food. Our friends stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way up so we brought it along with us at the table.
This winery is known for its zinfandels so if you want to get a bottle, I highly suggest getting one of those. We ended up buying a bottle of their 2019 Rockpile Zinfandel. Also, I want to mention that if you buy a bottle, they will comp a tasting. By using the BOGO free benefit, we technically only needed to pay for two tastings. Since our group ended up buying two bottles, we didn’t have to pay for any of the tastings at all. Such a great deal!
Tasting Procedure: One at a time
VISA DEAL: BOGO FREE SONOMA WINE TASTING ($40 FOR 4 WINES)
Address: 16275 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Notes: Simi Winery is a beautiful place to do a wine tasting if you are looking to be out in nature. You don’t get views of the vineyards, but you are surrounded by these gorgeous redwood trees and water fountains. There is a front patio part located near the wine tasting room’s entrance and there’s a back patio part downstairs where we sat. I wished we could have sat in the front patio since it seemed to be cooler over there, but unfortunately, they were not seating anyone over there that day. The back patio was nice too but it just felt really hot and the building itself was blocking all the wind. Either way, we had a great time there and they even gave us these delicious cookies to take home with us at the end.
Tasting Procedure: All at once
VISA DEAL: BOGO FREE SONOMA WINE TASTING ($20 FOR 5 WINES)
Address: 4791 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Notes: Did anyone also think that this winery was named after a tropical island or something? Well, we clarified that it’s not and is actually named after Kokomo, Indiana where the owner is from. Kokomo Winery was a nice change of pace since our tasting was held inside the wine-making room instead of outside. The winery is located in a commercial lot so there aren’t any vineyards or views for you to look at anyways. All wine tastings are conducted inside whereas if you want to buy a glass or bottle and eat your own food, you will be outside in their covered patio. One thing I really appreciated about this tasting was that they gave you a piece of chocolate to cleanse your palate. This was our last tasting of the day so it definitely helped out a lot.
Tasting Procedure: One at a time