Plan A Winter Wine Getaway To This Stunning California City

California is known for its gorgeous wine country. An ideal vacation destination year-round, winter in the vineyards is especially beautiful. With lush landscapes and smaller crowds, visitors have their choice of wineries offering perfect opportunities to get cozy with a glass of cabernet. One charming Northern California city in particular gets overlooked, but it shouldn't. Healdsburg is actually the ideal winter wine getaway.

Healdsburg is over 60 miles north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. While it may not be as famous as Napa Valley, it's a premier wine country destination in Sonoma County. Whether visitors prefer sweet, dry, red, or white wines, Healdsburg provides plenty of places to sip and savor. The city is small, with just over 11,000 residents, but it offers so many things to do. Visitors can spend the day exploring the historic plaza, tasting wine (of course!), enjoying excellent cuisine, and relaxing in the comfort of one of many unique and lovely hotels. In winter, average temperatures in Healdsburg range from 39 degrees at night to 59 degrees during the day. It may be chilly, but nothing a few casual layers and a warm fireplace can't fix.

Best wineries to visit in Healdsburg this winter

Healdsburg is one of the best cities in the U.S. for wine tasting, and some of its wineries really shine in winter, like Marine Layer Wines, Chalk Hill, and Lambert Bridge. Marine Layer Wines is a downtown Healdsburg tasting room. Choose the Seasonal Selections tasting ($30 per person). It includes four wines that capture the area's essence and are perfect for the winter season. The tasting room has large, comfortable couches and a fireplace that keeps customers warm and happy.

Chalk Hill sits on a 1,300-acre estate with gorgeous winter views of the Russian River Valley and Mayacamas Mountains. Tastings on the terrace are $50 per person. With 300 acres of vineyards, a culinary garden, a wilderness area, and an equestrian pavilion, there's plenty to explore here. The hospitality center has a beautiful fireplace, and to add to your wine tasting experience, add on a cheese and charcuterie platter or a classic caviar pairing. 

Lambert Bridge has a stone fireplace and vaulted ceilings. It's a perfect place for wine tasting on a rainy day. Lambert Bridge offers tasting experiences in both their Barrel Room ($60 per person) and their Cellar Room ($125 per person).

Where to stay in Healdsburg this winter

Healdsburg offers a range of accommodations that make the ideal home base while wine tasting this winter. Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza (starting around $315) has a fantastic location right on Healdsburg Plaza. It's close to wine tasting, shops, galleries, and restaurants. Each stay includes a complimentary breakfast as well as an afternoon wine hour with a complimentary glass of wine and tasty bites in the common area. Visitors can also borrow bikes (on a first-come, first-served basis) and indulge in freshly baked cookies daily. 

The Raford Inn (starting at $250) is an 1880 Victorian property with vineyard views that will likely be lush and green this winter. All rooms come with plush robes, complimentary local wines and hors d'oeuvres at sunset on the veranda, a homemade breakfast, and sweet treats anytime in the dining room. Book a room with a fireplace for extra coziness. 

Alternatively, try Montage Healdsburg (starting around $685 per night) for beautiful bungalow-style rooms nestled in nature but only minutes from historic downtown or Hotel Healdsburg (starting around $595 per night) for a tranquil setting and a fireplace lounge, which serves evening wine, cocktails, and light bites in their fireside lounge.