New Sparkling Wine Tasting Room in Healdsburg: Breathless Wines!

I first discovered Breathless Wines during A Taste of Sonoma this past Labor Day Weekend!  As I was in the midst of enjoying all of the Sparkling Wines throughout the day, friends pointed out the discovery of Breathless Wines.


They also pointed out that they were opening up a tasting room in Healdsburg.  I soon forgot this fact, until, last week, when I was browsing on Instagram, and saw a gorgeous photo of Sparkling Wines with a beautiful backdrop.  I did some further investigation, and realized that Breathless Wines Tasting Room had just opened in Healdsburg.

So, take me to this past weekend, when I looked over at my other half, told him about the new tasting room, and asked if he wanted to go?  He looked over at me, begrudgingly, knowing how much I wanted to go, and we said, “okay.”


So, we were off, on the search of Breathless Wines new tasting room. It wasn’t too hard to find, really, head towards Downtown Healdsburg, follow North Street to Moore Lane then look for the Breathless Wines Sign.

It’s in easy walking distance from Downtown Healdsburg Plaza and Shops. And trust me, it’s worth walking to.  I mean, just look at our beautiful sparkling wine flight:


A Sparkling Flight costs 14 dollars!  It includes a taste of Brut, Blanc de Noirs, and a Brut Rose. All these sparkling wines were made with the same sweetness level, but 3 different styles.  We also had a 4th tasting with their newly released Blanc de Blanc Wine.

If you’ve ever been curious about the Sabrage Opening!  Guess what?  You just have to stop into Breathless Wines now to experience it in person.  They offer a Sabrage experience right at the tasting room where you purchase a bottle of wine to enjoy, and they’ll walk you through the technique, and of course, show you this with your own bottle, which you’ll enjoy at the tasting room!


The Tasting room, made from Shipping Containers, was truly well put together, with the shipping container door opening outside with a bar to serve (you know, it’ll be put to great use during the summer!)


They also have a lovely patio area where you can enjoy your Sparkling Wines… which is set up for entertainment, which I’m sure, they’ll put to use in the future!

I know I’ve found one of my new favorite tasting rooms to keep visiting back to, or, at least, bring my future guests to:


Breathless Wines

499 Moore Lane

Healdsburg, CA

Hours: 10am-6pm, Closed Wednesdays

About Breathless Wines:

Breathless Wines is a family affair, built by the love of three sisters, Sharon, Rebecca, and Cynthia, and the passion for life that their mother passed down to them. The sisters are dedicated to creating refreshing sparkling wines that pair well with life’s special moments.

The Winemaker: Penny Gadd-Coster

Who has over 35 years of experience in making Sparkling Wine!

Penny, recipient of “Winemaker of the Year” in the North Bay Business Journal’s inaugural Wine Industry Awards, has garnered 12 Gold Medal and Best of Class awards in the past year alone for Breathless Wines. With more than 35 years of winemaking experience including having been the sparkling winemaker at J, and director of winemaking at Rack & Riddle since 2007, Penny crafts what many publications have lauded as the best sparkling wines available on the market today. By sourcing only the best grapes from the Carneros appellation, honing in on the best vineyards, and within those the very best clones, allows the personality across vintages to shine through with consistency year after year; variations in soil type in the Carneros region adds complexity to the fruit. Breathless Sparkling Wines are food-friendly and pair well with any plate — that’s the beauty of our bubbly!

And trust me, their Sparkling Wines are really, really delicious!  So, the next time you’re in Healdsburg, and looking to try some Sparkling Wine, be sure to put Breathless Wines on your list!



Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hidden Gems FOUND on the Sierra Oro Farm Trail in Butte County!

Last weekend, I headed up to Butte County (think Chico, Paradise, Oroville area) to participate in the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend! (30 Dollars for the Passport Weekend Festivities! or 35 purchased day of Event!) The Sierra Oro Farm Trail has been an annual tradition for the past 11 years that highlights the areas Farmers and Wineries.  The annual passport weekend has these farmers open its doors to the public for amazing TASTINGS and tours throughout the weekend! The Farm Trail is opened UP year ROUND!


During the weekend, my first visit to this area of California, I found some new hidden gems that NEED to be told to the world: This post will HIGHLIGHT the Farmers in the area and little shops I just adored.

As I drove out to Butte County, this city girl, went rejuvenated throughout the weekend being amongst the farm fields and small town life, and highly recommend it to anyone!


Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products:

Open year-round: M-F: 9am-5:30pm Sat: 10am-4:30pm

Maisie Jane’s, which started as a high school project for Future Farmers of America, is a small country store in Chico, CA that offers a variety of products.

Maisie Janes was one of two lunch spots this year on the trail offering a boxed lunch for just 10 dollars. Completely new to the passport weekend.


BUT, it wasn’t the lunch spot that GRABBED me, it was all the vendors surrounding Maisie Jane’s that grabbed my attention.

Such as: 2 English Ladies and their delicious Lemon Curd, Lime Curd, and Dressings and Vinegraittes. Trust me, they’ve stayed in my mind since I sampled their products!

And of course Maisie Jane’s was also sampling their delicious Almonds, and Almond Products such as their Almond Butters, Caramel Corn, and more.

TJ Farms:

October: M-Friday: 2pm to 6pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-6pm


As I walked up to TJ Farms, I stumbled upon their pumpkin patch!  Memories of past falls filled my head.  Definitely a fun fall outing to pick out your pumpkin, try various jams and jellies and mustards (Kiwi Mustard!)

They even had slices if Pumpkin Pie available for purchase and other food options! And a fun play area for the kids.

CSU: Chico College of Agriculture:

Hours: M-Fri: 8am-5pm;  Meats Lab: Thurs-Fri: 8am-5pm

My first stop on the trail was to Chico College of Agriculture!  The college students pulled out all the stops too with 6 different visits to sites on their campus!  The Beef Unit, and the Dairy Unit were in close walking distance.


While there, see the animals in action: Try some String Cheese, or Beef Jerky, and enjoy learning about Agriculture along the way.


Noble Orchards:

Seasonally: July-March, Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm


Photo Credit: Noble Orchards

If you are like me and crave apples during the fall then a stop at Noble Orchards is a must!  Just one of the orchards that still remain, in an area, that had tons back in the day!

If you’ve never heard of a WineSap Apple, this is also a must stop!  A new apple variety for me, but after tasting, I became a huge fan, along with many others on the Trail that weekend!


Harvest Hill Famly Farms:

Hours: October: M-F: 1pm to 5pm  Sat. and Sun: 9am to 5pm

Throughout Butte County, if there was one place I’d recommend to come to for Pumpkin Picking, it’d be Harvest Hill Family Farms.

Not only will you find your perfect pumpkin, you’ll get inspired by Fall Decorating!


Lodestar Farms:

May-Dec. Friday, Saturday: 12pm to 5pm


There were no shortage of Olive Oils on this Farm Trail (keep in mind, Corning, CA, just miles from Chico, is the Olive Capital of the US!)

And a stop at Lodestar Farms should be on the must visit Olive Oil places to visit while in town.  I really enjoyed tasting through all of their oils, and was pretty keen on their citrus oils of Lemon and Blood Orange!  Perfect for Chicken (Lemon) and Brownies (Blood Orange).

Of course, nothing’s better than an awesome Olive Oil, Balsamic, and yummy bread!

Wagon Wheel Market:

Daily: 10am-7pm


Recommended Lunch Stop:  It was the 2nd Lunch Spot offering to Passport Holders on the Trail.

However, bring a cooler with you, and be sure to stock up on their homemade sausages (they had samples available for us, and I am still dreaming of their Cheddar Filled Sausages!) This will be a must stop for me every time I come out to Oroville!

Mt. Ida Mandarin Ranch:

Hours: Nov-Jan: 10am-5pm

Although, the Mandarins aren’t ready until November, the Mandarin Ranch still invited Passport Holders out to their property to enjoy yummy treats overlooking their beautiful Mandarin Trees.


Of course, it only made me crave for Mandarins even more!


Calolea Olive Oil:

Hours: By Appointment


This family pulled out all the stops on the Farm Trail!  As they opened their doors, they had an amazing salad, and soup waiting for you, along with an Olive Oil Cake that paired perfectly with their Strawberry Balsalmic!

And, of course, you could try their different Olive Oils while there.

Live music was playing on the patio along with seating pointing out towards their Olive Trees!  A fun afternoon stop.


Sohnrey Family Farms:

Monday-Friday: 7am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-4pm

Although I got no pictures at Sohnrey Family Farms, stopping into this little shop off 99 South made my day so worth it!  Finding a variety of Almonds, Fruit Spreads, and coated almonds such as Mint Chocolate, Jordan, Yogurt, and Lemon Creme.

Gift Boxes are available in the weeks ahead (Great Holiday Ideas!) of their Almonds, and goodies found throughout the store.

Lavender Ranch: Briggs, CA

M-Thur: 8am-4pm, Fri-Sat: 10am-2pm

I don’t know about you, but I love the smell of Lavender!  And the Lavender Ranch is a beautiful property.  As you walk out of the car, the instant smell of Lavender hits you.


At the Lavender Ranch, lotions, bath salts, soaps, and more are available for purchase!  Also, GREAT gift boxes are available for the upcoming holidays!

Pedrozo Dairy & Cheese Farm: Orland, CA

Hours by Appointment


If you love cheese then a stop at Pedrozo Dairy & Cheese Farm was a must.  As you walked up, a variety of their cheeses were available to sample along with Mac n Cheese that was available to purchase.

As new kittens ran around the farm, visitors were given tours of the Dairy Farm, and welcome to meet their new baby Calf.


This closes my post on my new finds throughout Butte County!  A post next week will come out about the wineries in the area.

Please note I wasn’t able to cover everything on the Farm Trail or Passport Weekend.  Highlighted above were some of my favorites!








Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Now Authors: Kathryn and Craig Hall: A Perfect Score

Disclosure: I received a copy of “A Perfect Score” for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

If you’ve ever been to Napa Valley, Hall Wines, is quite memorable as you’re driving along Highway 29 heading into St. Helena.  Their giant Bunny Statue, what many refer to as Bunny Foo Foo by artist Lawrence Argent, stands out, hopping among the vineyards outside of Hall Wines.

But, what stands behind Hall Wines is a couple, (Kathryn and Craig Hall) with a passion.  A passion for making GREAT wine, a passion for Napa Valley, and a passion for art and design.

Today, September 13, this couple, has now entered into the word of Authorship as they release their first book, “A Perfect Score.”  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy and read it before its release, and let me tell you a few things:


If You’ve EVER wanted to know A Story of How a Couple got into Winemaking then this book is for you.  Because Kathryn and Craig, were completely honest in their book, about their start, about their struggles, and the hardships they even went through as they developed their wine, their brand, and their course of getting to the Perfect Score.

If you’ve ever BEEN to visit Hall Wines or Walt Wines in Napa or Sonoma, then, you need to sit down to read this book, and to read their story, read their humble beginnings, and then sit back in awe, as you sip on a bottle of their wine.  It’ll make you only want to appreciate their wine a whole lot more.

If you want to experience a real good love story, then, sit back to read this book.  It’s not just a love story about Kathryn and Craig Hall, but it is a love story of wine, and the process of winemaking, and really, the process of pursuing your passion, with the love of your life, by your side! Because, lets be honest, Hall Wines, and Walt Wines exist because of both Kathryn and Craig working together, as a team.

BUT: For me, this book was so much more than their story.  Sitting down to read “A Perfect Score” brought out a flood of memories of visiting Hall Wines, Tasting at Walt Wines, or attending one of their annual events such as their Cabernet Cook-Off.

It made me realize, how much of an impact, in their 20 year journey within Napa Valley, how far they truly have come in the Industry, how their ideas keep evolving (they’re Authors now!), and really, how serious they are about their business, and what THEY are doing in Napa Valley.  They get an idea in their head, they don’t just let the idea mull around in their head, they actually follow through with it, and the rest of us get to prosper from it!

But, truthfully, at the end of this book, it only made me appreciate Kathryn and Craig Hall even more.  You could see their personalities shines through in the book, but, not only that, make you wonder what they’re going to do next.  So, what do you think it’ll be?

Final Thoughts:

A Perfect Score was a fun read, especially for any person that has been to a tasting at Hall or Walt Wines during their Wine Country Travels.  Or any person that has come in contact with Kathryn or Craig Hall over the years.  The book tells their story, of their beginning, and really, the tale of HOW it all began, not to mention, their journey to the Perfect Score.




Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments