On Saturday we decided to take the optional tour set up through CCFA to visit Healdsburg and Kendall-Jackson Winery.
The bus ride was short and left us with a couple hours to explore Healdsburg before heading to Kendall Jackson.
Downtown Healdsburg was really adorable. Me, Lance and Samantha spent most of the morning walking around and checking out some of the local shops. There was a ton of antique shops and clothing shops too.
Eventually we found a store that was more my style – Powell’s Sweet Shoppe
Every kind of candy you could think of – they had lots of my favorites from when I was a kid too!
The ice cream looked really good, but I decided against it since it was only 10:30 am
I ended up leaving with a couple pieces of candy for later and Lance and I got a couple of fun soda bottles to enjoy
Cream soda for Lance and Cheerwine for me! If you’ve never had Cheerwine, you’ve got to try it. It’s kind of hard to come by (or at least here in the Southwest) so every time I see it in a store I have to get a bottle. The taste kind of reminds me of cherry coke.
After exploring a little more we decided to stop somewhere for lunch. We stumbled upon Bear Republic Brewing Company
Initially I had a hard time deciding on a beer, but ended up going with their Wine Country Wheat
One of the best wheat beers I’ve ever had!
As if it wasn’t hard enough to pick a beer, their menu had so many items that sounded amazing – as soon as I opened it I realized we had made a fabulous lunch spot choice.
I ended up ordering “the press” which had chicken, brie cheese and caramelized onions. Lance got these yummy BBQ pork sliders – and we both got our sandwiches with garlic fries. Samantha got the brewers mac and cheese, which looked really tasty as well!
After lunch we stopped by a local bakery to pick up some sweets – I got some French Macarons and Lance got this S’mores dessert. He raved about it, so I think I might have to attempt this one at home
We boarded back on the bus and made out way to Kendall-Jackson for a tour and some wine tasting.
Unfortunately I didn’t write down any of the wines we tasted, but I was in love with most of them..
We started the tasting in the courtyard. We sipped and waited for the whole group to get their glasses before we moved on to the tour.
They shared a lot about Kendall-Jackson with us. We heard a brief overview of their history and a little about their journey to becoming the company they are today.
The part I found most interesting was their sustainability practices. I really admire companies that are sustainability minded – it holds a special place in my heart since that’s what I studied in school. They do a little bit of everything, from Integrated Pest Management to planting cover crops to prevent soil degradation.
They also showed us their testing area where they can monitor various conditions that the vines are in, and talked to us a little about the technology behind it.
Next they took us for a walk through the sensory and culinary gardens.
The sensory gardens are designed to assist visitors in identifying the flavors and aromas found in the wine they are drinking. It is such a cool concept.
They had one for the red wine sensory and one for white wine. We also walked through a portion of the international gardens that they had divided up by region, with both herbs and vegetables from each.
Getting to walk through the gardens was one of my favorite parts of visiting Kendall-Jackson. It was so gorgeous! Our group was quite large so we didn’t get to spend as much time in the sensory gardens as I would have liked, but it was lovely none the less!
The final wine we tasted was a late harvest, which was my favorite (shocking, right?). When we went inside of the building for a bit I glanced over their tasting menu’s – if I ever get to visit again, I’ll definitely be doing that. They even had three different ones to choose from. And we know how I feel about food (and desserts..)
Lance and I checked out a few more of the flowers before we boarded the bus – and I caught a little bee hanging out on a flower
Kendall-Jackson also hosts a big Heirloom Tomato Festival in September each year – it sounds like a really amazing event! Too bad I can’t convince Lance we should go back to attend