Healdsburg’s Journeyman gets to the meat of the matter

Healdsburg’s Journeyman gets to the meat of the matter

No one would ever accuse Peter and Cathy Seghesio (above) of mailing it in, even if their new salumeria, butcher counter, and wine-tasting shop opened in Healdsburg's former post office back in August. Journeyman Meat Company (404 Center St., Healdsburg, 707-395-MEAT, journeymanmeatco.com) has swiftly become the source for charcuterie in Sonoma County, and that's hard work. Peter Seghesio (right) spent much of his adult life overseeing the Seghesio Family Vineyards wine operation, bringing its old-vine Zinfandel to national prominence. When the winery was absorbed by Crimson Wine Group, he threw himself into learning traditional Italian butchery and charcuterie. “You see a salumeria on every block in Italy,” he says. “It was something we felt our area lacked.” Peter and Cathy also launched Journeyman wine company....Read More
Jordan captures the luscious bounty of Sonoma

Jordan captures the luscious bounty of Sonoma

You can be forgiven if you rub your eyes at first sight of Jordan Vineyard & Winery (1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-5250, jordanwinery.com). It looks like a mirage. Tom and Sally Jordan established the 1,200-acre Alexander Valley estate in 1972 as an homage to Bordeaux. True to their vision, the ivy-covered manse overlooking gardens and vineyards appears to have been transported whole from the gently rolling hills of Entre-Deux-Mers. Now their son John Jordan (above) continues the tradition of crafting Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Russian River Valley Chardonnay in the Old World style. Producing two superb wines—one modeled on Bordeaux's Saint-Julien, the other on Burgundy's Montrachet—gives Jordan Winery a clarity of focus. But following the model of Napa, Jordan is a destination winery....Read More
Costeaux proves one cannot live on wine alone

Costeaux proves one cannot live on wine alone

The most famous of Persian poet Omar Khayyam's quatrains suggests that “paradise enough” consists of a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and his beloved beside him in the wilderness. Healdsburg has dozens of potential wine suppliers to the paradise picnic, but the loaf have to come from Costeaux French Bakery (417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-433-1913, costeaux.com). We were already well-acquainted with Costeaux's breads before we ever stepped foot in the downtown bakery and cafe. Honor Mansion makes most of its breakfast goodies from scratch, but there's no homecooked substitute for the Cinnamon Walnut loaf from Costeaux. (We know. We tried and failed to get the recipe.) It's a hand-rolled eggy bread dense with chopped walnuts and aromatic cinnamon. Sweet icing glazes the top...Read More
The Nectary serves delicious juice to chew

The Nectary serves delicious juice to chew

Other than drinking a strawberry mango smoothie for breakfast every morning, I haven't really embraced the “juicing” trend. Sure, I know that juicing is an easy way to consume a greater variety of fruits and vegetables that will give your body a good dose of nutrients. And those nutrients may raise energy levels and promote clear, healthy skin. I also figured that California would be the perfect place to see what juicing was all about. I was right. The Nectary—and its founder Gia Baiocchi—provided the perfect introduction. Baiocchi opened the first Nectary in Sebastopol in 2014 and opened her second location in Healdsburg (312 Center Street, 707-473-0677, thenectary.net) in July 2017. The shop offers a multitude of products, including smoothies, chai, some prepared foods, and...Read More
Thomas George evokes Burgundy in Russian River

Thomas George evokes Burgundy in Russian River

Westside Road in Healdsburg is the cool end of the Russian River Valley. That's just fine by Thomas and George Baker, founders of Thomas George Estates Winery (8075 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8031, thomasgeorgeestates.com). When geography gives you cool vineyards in this part of Sonoma, you focus on the stars of Burgundy: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since launching the winery in 2008, the Bakers have assembled four select vineyards to grow both varietals. These small-lot artisanal wines tend to spotlight individual vineyards, although the winery does make one blend from each grape. The winery tunnels into the hillside beneath the Baker Ridge Vineyard. Although the operation does have some stainless steel tanks and oak barrels, the dominant vessels are concrete eggs. The vessels have been gaining...Read More

California cuisine comes full circle at Dry Creek Kitchen

What began in northern California when Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 has evolved into the easy sophistication of Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen (317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-431-0330, drycreekkitchen.com). Chez Panisse launched so-called California cuisine, the forerunner of the farm-to-table dining revolution. A generation younger than Waters, New York-born and trained Palmer became the leading apostle of progressive American cooking by the late 1980s. In 2003, he opened Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg to celebrate Sonoma's bounty and wine country lifestyle. It's a pretty place. Located in the Hotel Healdsburg (another Palmer Group property), Dry Creek Kitchen has garden terrace dining when the weather cooperates and a striking dining room when it doesn't. Some of the tables sit by the semi-open kitchen, where...Read More

Trattore: a little bit of Rhône, a whole lot of rock and roll

Walking into the tasting room at Trattore, it's easy to expect that the sound system might be blasting Kenny Chesney's 1999 country hit “She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy.” A beautifully restored 1967 Huber tractor greets visitors as they come in the door. Tim and Mary Louise Huber have about a dozen tractors, half of which work the land. And their Trattore Farms (7878 Dry Creek Road, Geyserville, 707-431-7200, trattorefarms.com) is simply named after the iconic farm vehicle. The Hubers' 40-acre operation sits on the steep hillsides of the Dry Creek Valley just over the line from Healdsburg in Geyserville. Those hills look a lot like the Côtes du Rhône, and Rhône varietals dominate in Trattore's vineyards. The other prominent grape in the 4,000-case annual production...Read More

Cocktails honor the Barnsley spirits

Jon Mattson, dining manager at Barnsley Resort (597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville, Georgia, 877-773-2447, barnsleyresort.com), has good advice for mixing cocktails. “One ingredient is the star,” he says. “Others should make that ingredient shine.” From that starting point, Mattson experiments until he “finds the ratios that really work.” A student of American cocktail history, he also delights in showcasing high-quality Southern products whenever possible. “I like to keep things simple and balanced,” he explains. He generally limits his cocktails to three ingredients. Even within that limited framework, he creates libations that nod to cocktail history as well as to the drinking habits of the Barnsley estate's late 19th century heyday. Estate founder Godfrey Barnsley originally called his property Woodlands and the name survives in the...Read More

Barnsley’s Rice House cooking exalts Southern tradition

About 30 years ago, a farmhouse from the Rice Plantation in nearby Rome, Georgia, was dismantled and moved to the Barnsley estate. Carefully rebuilt and restored, the Rice House is now the setting for Friday and Saturday night dinners at the Barnsley Resort (597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville, Georgia, 877-773-2447, barnsleyresort.com). The meals celebrate the rich tradition of Southern cooking. “Southern cuisine is much more than fried chicken and lots of butter,” says Aaron Stiles, the resort's director of food and beverage. “You never hear people brag about discovering this really great Northern restaurant.” With its stone fireplace big enough for some hearth cooking, the Rice House feels a little bit like stepping back into a Southern grandmother's kitchen. And that's just as it should...Read More

Barnsley lights up a Southern Christmas

What's better than an atmospheric ruin with a romantic backstory? An atmospheric ruin with a romantic backstory festooned with holiday lights. That's exactly what I discovered at Barnsley Resort (597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville, Georgia, 877-773-2447, barnsleyresort.com), about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta. Godfrey Barnsley was only a teenager when he left England in 1824 to seek his fortune in the American South. He settled in Savannah and established himself in shipping and the cotton trade. In 1828, he married Julia Scarborough, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and shipbuilder. In the early 1840s, Barnsley purchased 4,000 acres of former Cherokee land in North Georgia. Because Julia suffered from a lung ailment, Godfrey wanted to build her a home in the more favorable upcountry climate....Read More