It is probably surprising that even though I am a native of Sonoma County I did not discover the beauty of downtown Healdsburg until my senior year of college. In my last year of living in California, I drove out there pretty regularly to enjoy the sights, sounds and shops. Downtown Healdsburg is quaint, lively and fun.
This past weekend, I went Black Friday Wine Tasting with my best friends.
Our first stop was the Selby Winery Tasting Room. One of my college pals, Tyler, is the Tasting Room Manager there, so I have gone out the majority of the times I have been in California this year. The wine is wonderful, and it is a guaranteed chance to see a good friend.
Selby opened in 1993 and their tasting room is the oldest on the Healdsburg plaza. It is an adorable, intimate space with a wonderful chandelier that hangs low and gently illuminates the part of the space that are not naturally lit through the windows. Two walls are covered in awards and White House Menus. If you want to celebrate #winewednesday like Michelle Obma, you should probably try out the Selby Sauvignon Blanc. Selby wines have been served at the White House 71 times (and counting!), more than any other single winery.
Their catalog of white wines is refreshing. The Gewürztraminer is crisp and fruity, the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is another vintage of the Selby’s fun summer go-to wine (and the North Coast Wine Challenge Gold Medal winner). The 2014 Chardonnay is a solid choice for Chardonnay-lovers.
Unless it is mid-summer, my wine preference is red and as much as Selby has solid white wines, they really knock it out of the park with their reds. Their old vine Zinfandel is a beautiful, soft and tender red, a bottle so sweet you would be foolish to try to power through alone. The Bobcat Zinfadel is bold and heroic, packing a delightful grape-flavored punch to the tastebuds.
Every Tasting Room Associate that has served me at Selby has been incredibly kind and generous, sharing knowledge not just about Selby and their wines but also about the region, how the wine is produced and vineyard processes. In the event you want to talk about more than just wine, the associates have been chatty about traveling, living in different states and popular culture. Sure, you are thinking “but one of his college buddies works there, of course he has had great talks with the Tasting Room Associates,” but Tyler has not been the only person to serve me on visits there – including our most recent visit.
The wines I purchased for my collection were the 2009 Petite Verdot – because how often do you get a chance to purchase a Petite Verdot (they take a long time to age – 4 years in barrels, then another few years in bottles – so making Petite Verdot is a risky move for a winery), the 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel (I only had one in my collection, and wanted to make sure I could drink it, but still have a bottle on hand for fancy-times) and the 2011 Syrah (Syrah is consistently my favorite varietal).
I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful, fun winery on your next trip to Sonoma Wine Country.
Stay tuned for more on our visit to Healdsburg! Next post will go up tomorrow at 8am.