Russian River Valley

Old Jan 30th, 2002, 12:49 PM
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Russian River Valley

My husband and I will be visiting this area in April. Can you recommend good restaurants and wineries in this area. Also accommodations. Thanks.
Old Jan 30th, 2002, 01:01 PM
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Linda - I can't recommend any places per se, but try doing some research in The Wine Spectator and Wine Country Living (formerly Appellation) magazines. Also, research into past issues of Sunset Magazine - they always have lots of good ideas. Also, get a copy of the Sonoma County Farm Trails map (pick up almost anywhere when you are there or available from the Sonoma Co. C of C or Visitors office). You can drive to various family farms, smaller wineries, etc. and see some beautiful scenery along the way. You can also follow the (Russian) River Road to the coast at Jenner. There is also a redwood forest in the area. You'll have a wonderful time no matter where you go.
Old Jan 30th, 2002, 02:31 PM
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Last month's National Geographic Exploreer magazine featured the Russian River Valley...
Old Jan 30th, 2002, 05:19 PM
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Westside Road in Healdsburg is absolutely the place to go. Rochioli, one of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay producers in the world and offers free tastings, is located there. So is Davis Bynum, which tends to give you a great deal of good wine for your money. So is Williams Selyem (though you can't visit).

So is Hop Kiln, which doesn't make great wine but is a beautiful converted "hops kiln" hence the name with ducks and flowers and a great little store. These are all practically in walking distance of one another.

Then I recommend driving a couple minutes (follow the signs) to J. which has a great mini food pairing tasting with its pinots and sparkling wines. I believe its right next door to Raymond as well.

Oh, and Healdsburg Center is a great square where you can walk, check out antiques, have a great lunch, and taste more great local wines.

No, I'm not from Healdsburg, but I wish I were.
Old Jan 31st, 2002, 07:55 AM
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Here are some low-key ideas. While I like Healdsburg, I really enjoy West Sonoma County even more.
Try a drive over to Duncan Mills. the Blue Heron is a funky little place to soak in the atmosphere.You can do a little wine and cheese tasting across the street in the little village of shops. Rivers End is fascinating place to eat or grab a drink. Watching where the river and sea come together is amazing.
If you venture outside of Forestville, you might try Stella's Cafe. The Farmhouse Inn is a quaint place to stay and has great food. Try the Village Inn in Monte Rio if you are planning to be in that tiny area. Makes reservations though. If you travel in towards Graton, Willowood Cafe is a great place for a meal and a glass of wine. If you have more specific questions please post again.
Old Jan 31st, 2002, 07:58 AM
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Along with Tim's excellent suggestion for Westside Road and Healdsburg I would add Davis Bynum as a place to taste wine. And the Madrona Manor as a great special dinner. Also in the area some nice choices are Ferrari Carano (beautiful grounds and great reds), Seghesio (Zinfindel specialists) and Chateau Souvereign's very nice restaurant.
Old Jan 31st, 2002, 08:07 AM
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Another vote for Madrona Manor---I would splurge and stay there as well. Lunch at Chateau Souverain is a special treat. Enjoy.

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