Skip the crowds and the $30 tastings and drive the extra 20 minutes to Alexander Valley in California’s wine country. Jimtown is an hour and a half drive North of San Francisco, between Healdsburg and Gyserville. It is is essentially an intersection, where Alexander Valley Road meets the 128 highway (its pretty damn slow for a highway, I’d say so). There is good wine, sandwiches, and rolling vines. Perfect for an afternoon of wine tasting and food surrounded by serious oak trees, vineyards for days, and bright sky.
First stop, Jimtown Store. Come for the sandwiches stay for the shopping. You can’t go wrong with the pulled pork sandwich or the spicy mac & cheese. Don’t forget to check out the home goods, books, and nick-nacks displayed throughout the store.
Once you leave Jimtown Store turn left and you’ve made it to your next stop, Hawkes. Dating back to 1972, Hawkes is a family owned vineyard with delicious Cabernet Sauvignons and a very friendly winery dog. Tastings are $15 each and are waved with a purchase above $40. Ask for recommendations of nearby wineries and you’re bound to get great suggestions and a free tasting or two.
Before you leave the area, make a stop over at Medlock Ames. Sit by the fire or play a game of bocce ball. And if you’re down for a snack, go for the seated tasting with cheese pairings. This sustainable, small-patch, and perfectly styled winery is a great way to top off a day in Alexander Valley.