Idlewild

Ambiance

  • This downtown Healdsburg tasting room has a trendsetting city vibe.

  • A bit San Fran and a bit Manhattan.

  • A hole in the wall spot you stumble upon and suddenly you have a best kept secret.

  • No brand assault when you walk in. No big logos, flashy awards or merchandise on display.

  • I sat at the bar. It's more like small trendy kitchen bar rather than a typical tasting room 'bar'.

  • Usually, tasting rooms are designed for standing while you taste. I plopped myself down on a stool.

  • Idlewild is open until 7:00pm and you can also purchase wine by the glass.

  • This is quickly becoming a fav local spot.

image copyright: SFChronical

image copyright: SFChronical

Cost:

  • $20 Per Person for a tasting.

  • Waived with 3 bottle purchase.

  • Most bottles are $30 or under.

  • The philosophy here goes back to the Italian way of life.

  • In Italy wine is not a luxury product it is a way of life.

  • Wine is not meant to be elitist or separatist.

  • Idlewild embraces the philosophy that wine is meant for all to share and enjoy!

Appointment Needed? 

  • Walk-ins welcome.

  • Open 7 days a week, 12:00 am-7:00 pm

  • Some food options are available to purchase. Salumi, cheese, olives and bread if you are craving a snack while you taste.

Wine and Cheese Pairing Healdsburg

Wine Pick

  • Try them all!

  • Like a See's Candy Box, where you want to take a bite of everything. That's the way these wines are. So unique you have to try them all.

  • I think it would be so fun to show up at a party with Idlewild Wine. The wine varietals are so obscure you'd have an instant conversation starter.

Piedmont Varietals Idlewild

Dog Approved

  • Not really.

  • I suggest leaving your dog at home for this one.

  • Don't get me wrong, they are dog people; JUST the tasting space itself is not conducive to dogs underfoot.

Social Media Worthy

  • Are you the ultimate foodie and wine lover?

  • Idlewild features great pop-up food and wine pairings.

  • Houtskool Dumplings is usually at Idlewild on Fridays starting at 5:00pm.

  • I picture you holding a glass of wine in one hand and then chopsticks with a juicy dumpling in the other. Instagram food and wine #goals

photo cred: houtskool dumplings

photo cred: houtskool dumplings

Feel Good Vibes 

  • I like purchasing products that are creative, unique, and the exact opposite of a carbon copy.

  • Wine is no exception.

  • I am highly motivated to support revolutionary thinkers and trailblazers in the wine industry.

  • Sam Bilbro is a wine thought leader who is redefining California winemaking.

  • Everyone thought he was CRAZY!

  • It is completely unheard of to not only focus on Italian wine varietals but to focus on a specific region of Italy's Piedmont.

  • Sam figuratively goes 'off-roading' when it comes to winemaking and loves obscure and rare grapes for California: Carignan, Dolcetto, Cortese

Wine Nerd Facts

  • Part of why I wanted to do 100 Wineries in 100 Days is so that I could LEARN.

  • Wine, wine tasting, people talking about wine is still very intimidating and unapproachable to me.

  • By taking on this wine challenge, I am using a documentary approach.

  • Get dirty. Ask questions. Be real. Tell people right off the bat...I'm a wine novice.

  • At Idlewild I met a food scientist. He and his wife retired to Sonoma County from New Jersey and Idlewild is their favorite early evening hangout.

  • He educated me on the science of GRAFTING.

  • If you want to grow a new varietal, you have the option of grafting cuttings onto existing rootstock. This saves a winemaker time by using an established root system.

  • Recently, Sam the winemaker, grafted Cortese and Dolcetto onto 15 year old roots.

  • Watching this video of Idlewild grafting looks like an art-form.

Wine Club? Fun Events? 

  • Technically there is no official 'wine club'.

  • The key for this place is to get on the MAILING LIST.

  • Mailing list subscribers are the first to be alerted about any upcoming events and wine releases.

  • Dumpling Pop-Up from, Houtskool Dumplings, every Friday 5-8

 Sheila's Tasting Notes

  • Have you ever looked at your cat or dog or any pet for that matter and thought...hmmm if they were a human what type of personality would they have.

  • My high school friends and I did this all the time. Kari's cocker spaniel, Rusty, was totally a stoned out skater boy. Rusty flopped around with no cares in the world. My dog growing up, Abby, was the quintessential cheerleader. Hello!?!? Abby was a yellow lab. All smiles and pep and excitement.

  • In person form, Idlewild wines would be approachable.

  • Like if you showed up to a party and knew nobody... immediately you would gravitate to Idlewild and get wrapped up in conversation quickly.

  • Their stories of hiking, beach sunsets, Italian adventures, and grounded life values would instantly captivate you.

  • You have the same taste in classic rock music. They give you some gardening tips. You wish you had the courage to be a daredevil motorcycle rider like them.

  • Idlewild in person form is not fidgety, or ego driven, not overbearing or bossy.

  • Instead their grounded energy rubs off on you and you are no longer anxious.

  • In a world of Kardashian vapidness....

  • You found something to drink of fascinating substance.

IDLEWILD WINES

Sam Bilbro Idlewild Wines
Toad Hollow Vineyards

Toad Hollow Vineyards

Pech Merle

Pech Merle