alexander valley

Sonoma and the East Bay

My California trip continues. We hit the road fairly early and took the Richmond bridge again across the bay. This time we stayed on the highway all the way to Healdsburg. Downtown Healdsburg centers around a pretty park. We were entertained by a lone guitar player who knew all the songs from the 60’s. We were impressed when he did a perfect growl while signing Pretty Woman. Small boutiques selling high end clothing surround the park.

We brought a picnic lunch and needed to find a place with tables. Following our Google god, we discovered an out of the way picnic area on the Russian River. It was delightful.

From there we went in search of wine. We got lost on the way and ended up detouring on the 258 acre grounds of the Montage Healdsburg resort and spa. It was very inviting. We looked it up, it was over $1600 per night. Apparently they have several restaurants open to the public.

Back on the road, we stopped briefly at Hanna Winery so my friend could pick up a bottle of her latest favorite. Then it was on to Alexander Valley Vineyards for a tour. They give free tours twice a day and do not charge for tasting. Plus their wine is excellent. They have been in business since the 1960’s and are serious about their Green initiatives.

The following day it was off to Oakland and the East Bay. We had our mandatory stop at the alma mater and an old watering hole we used to frequent.

Our final stop was the Mountain View Cemetery in Piedmont. I went mainly for the views but there were some nice mausoleums as well. Some of the notables were Domingo Ghirardelli, Chocolate King; James Folger, Coffee Pioneer; and Anna Head, founder of the Head-Royce School in Oakland where a couple of my friends attended.