The Westside road wine trail takes you through the famed Russian River Valley, the land of Pinot Noir and other cool-climate varietals. This drive meanders through breathtaking hills of vineyards ending along the banks of the Russian River at Korbel Champagne Cellars.
From the Healdsburg Square, go south on Healdsburg Ave. and turn right on Mill St. Take Mill St. under the freeway. Mill St. will lead you to Westside Road to the Mill Creek Winery. The Russian River Valley wineries produce a wide range of excellent white and red varietal wines.
You’ll find great Pinot Noir wines as well as fine Cabernet along the Westside Road wine trail.
New on Westside Road: Bacchus Landing is home to seven wineries – tasting rooms only. There is a picnic area and Bocce courts.
Best Westside Road Wineries
• Mill Creek Winery – Small winery with a unique water mill
• Armida Winery – Best view; good reds, good picnic spot
• Bacigalupi Vineyards– Family winery with an emphasis on Pinot Noir
• MacRosite House – Newest winery on Westside Road, spectacular setting
• Landmark Vineyards, Hop Kiln Estate – Best picnic spot; the historic Hop Kiln building
• Rochioli Vineyards – Pinot Noir specialist
• Porter Creek Vineyards – Family own with delicious Pinot Noir
• Korbel Cellars – Excellent tour, best gardens, deli,- historic
We recommend you visit only three wineries in one stay. Enjoy the peacefulness of the region.
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
Other wineries along the Westside Road wine trail to consider visiting:
• Twomey Cellars
• Gary Farrell
Look for Mill Creek Winery just a short distance on Westside Road. Mill Creek is a small family-owned winery producing 15,000 cases of wine per year. Besides the excellent wines, you will love the old water wheel and the pond. Above the tasting room is a picnic deck area that offers a great view of the Dry Creek Valley. The tasting room facility is a model of the old wood mills that were around in the 1900s. Try the Gewürztraminer, it is dry and is one of the few wineries producing this varietal in this region. Merlot is also an excellent choice. Recent Article
A short distance from Mill Creek is Armida Winery. This winery wins the award for the best view. The winery’s picnic area and tasting room overlook the valley below. The tasting room is a geodesic dome and is spacious, with huge windows that present a fantastic setting for wine tasting. If you’re a Zinfandel lover, Armida makes some outstanding ones. In 2006 the winery began producing an estate Zinfandel/Petite Sirah blend named Il Campo. The Zin and Petite Syrah are harvested together and co-fermented. Try it.
The Bacigalupi Vineyards tasting room opened in June 2011. The tasting room is amidst a set of oak trees set back from Westside Road. It is a lovely setting. The Bacigalupi Family sells 90% of the grapes to various wineries and uses 10% for the Bacigalupi label. The Bacigalupi signature wine is Pinot Noir, but they also produce a Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Petite Sirah. One of the neat things to do here is to take a walk up to the oldest and most famous Chardonnay vineyard in Sonoma County. These vines are the Wente Clone and planted in 1964. These Chardonnay vines were in the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay wine that took first place honors in the famous “Judgment of Paris.” in 1976.
Traveling from Healdsburg on Westside Road, on the right, your eye will catch the beautiful rolling vineyards and the spectacular MacRostie Estate House tasting room. Upon arrival, guests receive a glass of wine. What a treat! Tasting is sit down fashion either inside or out on the terrace. Visitors usually get two wine glasses to enjoy and compare two different Chardonnay wines and two Pinot Noir wines. It is a great way to educate your palate and discover the subtle differences in two wines. Veteran winemaker Steve MacRostie brings a new style of wine tasting to Westside Road.
Hop Kiln is about 4 miles past the Armida Winery and on the left side of Westside Road traveling towards the west. Immediately you will notice the unique structure of this winery. The winery was originally a facility for drying hops, one of the prime ingredients used in making beer. The tasting room is very rustic and filled with delightful items. Check to see if picnicking is allowed for all guests. It seems that each time we visit Hop Kiln, the picnic rules are different. Hop Kiln is a lovely choice for a relaxing picnic lunch. Enjoy a glass of chilled white wine.
Rochioli Vineyards is next door to Hop Kiln. The father and son team of Joe and Tom Rochioli are producing some of the most excellent wines in California. Joe tends to the 160 acres in this Russian River Valley appellation property while Tom does the winemaking. The team produces 10,000 cases of wine per year with several single-vineyard bottlings. At the winery, you can taste and purchase some of their more substantial production wines. However, their reserve wines, which are limited production wines, are purchased as soon as the release date notice goes out to the mailing list. Sorry to say, but to get on the Rochioli mailing list, it is a long wait.
From Rochioli, continue on Westside Road another 2.5 miles and then turn right into the Porter Creek Winery. Porter Creek is a small but very popular tasting room. The Pinot Noir is the best. Get there early in the day to enjoy your round of wine tasting. Porter Creek boasts a 1000 member wine club, and that speaks volumes about the wine at Porter Creek. With approximately 3500 cases of wine produced annually, many vintages sell out quickly. The views in this portion of the roadway are spectacular.
To get to Korbel, continue on Westside Road until you end up on River Road. Turn right and travel about 2 miles to Korbel. Korbel has one of the better tours and takes you through the step-by-step process of making Champagne in the French tradition. You will also want to check out the fantastic rose garden and the luxurious tasting room. There is also a good deli restaurant where you can eat while enjoying one of the most beautiful settings along the Russian River. One reason we like Korbel so much is that it is the first winery we visited back in 1965. There is great history at Korbel.
If you have the opportunity and are looking for a small town experience, the town of Occidental will make a great overnight stay. You can get to Occidental by continuing to drive on River Road towards Monte Rio. Once in Monte Rio look for the signs to Occidental. There are two famous restaurants here where you can get traditional family style Italian meals. This a fun little town. The town is surrounded by Redwoods and is worth a stay for at least one night and a dinner at one of the two Italian spots, Negri’s and the Union Hotel.
Additional wine routes in the Healdsburg wine region of Sonoma
- Dry Creek and West Dry Creek Wine Trails
- Old Redwood Highway Wine Trail
- Alexander Valley Wine Trail
- Geyserville Wine Trial
- Olivet Road Wine Trail
- Green Valley Wine Trail
Tips for your Healdsburg Wine Tour
- You are encouraged to have a designated driver. Consider hiring a limousine or van service.
- First time to a winery in Healdsburg? Find out what happens in a typical tasting room.
- Are you wondering about how to taste wine? Wine Tasting Techniques
- If you cannot picnic, enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Healdsburg’s many fine restaurants.
- We list Healdsburg lodging.
- Pace yourself and make a day of wine tasting. Don’t forget to take photos of your wine country getaway.
- Visiting three wineries in one day is enough to you keep you busy and content with the slow and easy pace of wine country.
- Please read our Disclaimer Document on the information contained on Wine Country Getaways.
By: Julien Raby
Title: The Best Westside Road Wineries and Wine Trails
Sourced From: winecountrygetaways.com/westside-road-wineries/
Published Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2023 17:59:28 +0000