Photo by Craig Outhier
Phoenix Magazine just published an article called “Healdsburg Wine Tour”, and we were excited to be among the wineries they showcased. The article says, “Amista Vineyards, known for its sparkling wines, the winery has a comfortable patio with scenic views of its 20-acre vineyard and Mount St. Helena. We enjoy getting a tongues-on primer in the art of making bubbly while noshing on the winery’s excellent charcuterie board, much of it derived from the on-site farm and garden.” The article reminded us how much we adore our little town of Healdsburg and how much fun it is to share it with visitors.
When we first started visiting Healdsburg in the 1983, it was a sleepy small town with wineries in the surrounding countryside and a couple of great restaurants. Since then, it has been discovered and is now a popular destination. It has remained small and charming but can no longer be described as sleepy. On most days, the downtown is bustling with people checking out the shops around the town square or sitting on a park bench under the trees overlooking the fountain.
We now have many more great places to dine, and the town is packed with art galleries, boutiques and unique tasting rooms. The article describes all our favorites and goes on to say, “And for a town of 11,000, it boasts one of the densest hospitality biomes you’ll find in California, which explains all those best-small-town accolades. It’s quaint and seasoned, but unmistakably upscale.”
“Still, the thing I love best about the Sonoma County town is leaving it – or more precisely, hopping on a bike and gliding around the rolling, winery-encrusted foothills just a few miles up the road,” the writer declares.
Agreed! There are more wineries in Dry Creek Valley than there were when we first visited, including Amista Vineyards! The idea of starting a winery wasn’t even in the back of our minds in 1983 when we first saw Healdsburg while visiting from our home state of Colorado. It was nearly two decades and a trek from one coast to the other (Colorado to Silicon Valley to New Jersey to Nevada) before we moved to Healdsburg in 2002. We launched Amista in 2004.
Our little cottage, that we think was first built around 1918, is surrounded by vineyards. I never get tired of waking up to the vines outside our bedroom window. It is a pleasure to walk the vineyard each day with our two Shelties, Dylan and Torin, and pop into our tasting room to meet our guests. We’re in the heart of the bucolic countryside and yet only five miles from our adopted hometown of Healdsburg.
If you visit Healdsburg, we invite you to Taste with Us at Amista Vineyards in the heart of Dry Creek Valley. We specialize in estate grown, Methode Champenoise sparkling wines and Rhône varieties. Soak up our gorgeous vineyard and valley views and experience a friendly Amista welcome (Amista means “making friends” in Spanish).
Read more in “Healdsburg Wine Tour”, by Craig Outhier for Phoenix Magazine.
We have two kinds of dog lovers at Amista. Which one are you?
The first lives a car ride away, loves wine, wants to explore new wineries, or return to their favorites, loves their dog, and hates to leave him or her at home…so they bring them along. They are welcome at Amista!
The second comes from afar, loves wine, wants to explore new wineries, or return to their favorites, loves their dog, and hates to leave them at home, but couldn’t bring them and misses them terribly. They are welcome at Amista!
For the dogs we offer fresh water – current vintage – and doggie treats. For the humans who miss thier dogs, we offer ours for petting and loving, when we visit the tasting room on our daily walk.
If you’re visiting Sonoma wine country, you’re in luck. There are several wineries that are dog friendly. Amista was featured along with our dog friendly neighbors in “18 Best Dog-Friendly Wineries in Sonoma County” in Sonoma Magazine.
Our dogs, Dylan and Torin (both Shetland Sheepdogs or Shelties for short), love to visit our tasting room on their daily walks. They especially love to meet other dogs. Once they’ve made the rounds of the visiting canines, they greet the human guests. We can always tell when people are missing their dogs at home because they are eager to say hello to our pups.
“Several Sonoma County wineries are now welcoming visitors to pair vino with Fido in ways which both dog-owners and dogs can appreciate: fine wine and artisan bites for “Mommy” and “Daddy,” and treats, vineyard sprints and bowls of water for the beloved pooch,” the article goes on to say.
Our self-guided vineyard tour is another attraction that is perfect for dogs and their owners. You can breathe the fresh air as you explore our vineyards on a self-guided Vineyard Adventure Walk, created in partnership with the Sonoma County Winegrowers. See the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Chardonnay varieties we grow, learn about the wines we make from them and discover our backwater pond that is part of the Habitat Enhancement Project designed to restore the natural fish habitat in Dry Creek. The complimentary walk is approximately one-half mile on flat terrain. Dogs on a leash and children are welcome.
“After taking a self-guided tour of the property with your dog, taste Amista's sparkling and still wines on the patio,” says the writer. We are the only winery in Healdsburg to offer a selection of sparkling Rhône wines as well as a Blanc de Blanc made from our Chardonnay grapes. If red is more your style, order our Taste of Amista flight and enjoy a selection of our Rhône reds, Dry Creek Zinfandel or Rockpile Cabernet.
Amista means “making friends” in Spanish and you can be assured of a warm welcome and a friendly experience. Sit on our solar covered patio surrounded by our estate vineyards and gaze out at the gorgeous Dry Creek Valley hillsides.
If you’re planning a visit to Sonoma, with or without your dog, come Taste With Us at Amista Vineyards, Healdsburg, California in the heart of Dry Creek Valley.
Check out 18 Dog Friendly Wineries in Sonoma County in Sonoma Magazine.
Yes! Since 2014, every wine in the Amista collection is vegan.
Sonoma Tourism recently published an article showcasing some of the vegan wineries in Sonoma County. It explains that “Historically, and this is largely still true present day, the process of fining and filtering wines always involved the use of fining agents that included animal ingredients. There’s nothing unusual about these ingredients in winemaking, and these fining and filtering methods are still prevalent in most commercial wine-producing regions around the world.”
Fining agents are used to clarify and polish the wines to remove the small particles and sediment. The agents bind with the particles making them large enough to filter out of the final wine. They are completely removed before the wine is bottled, but the fact that animal derivatives were used in the winemaking process means the wines cannot be considered vegan.
In the early years, like most wineries, we used fining agents for some of our wines. Since Ashley Herzberg joined as winemaker in 2011, all our wines have been vegan, except one where she used egg whites as a fining agent. That wine was vegetarian but not vegan.
Now all our wines are vegan. This is only one part of our commitment to make our winemaking process more natural, as the article explains:
“All of Amista Vineyard’s wines are vegan, as a result of the winery’s focus on minimal-intervention winemaking practices. No fining agents are added to Amista’s wines. Instead, the focus is on keeping wines in balance naturally, through close attention to the vineyard, pressing choices, and skin contact time.
Amista’s vineyards are farmed organically, the property is free of herbicides and glyphosates, and the vineyards are certified as Fish Friendly and Sustainable.”
Today, there are more and more wineries in Sonoma County that craft vegan wines. Check out Sonoma County Vegan Wineries for a diverse list of wineries from all parts of Sonoma County. Yes, we have something for everyone!
When you come, we invite you to Taste with Us at Amista Vineyards in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, just outside the town of Healdsburg. We specialize in estate grown, Methode Champenoise sparkling wines and Rhône varieties. Soak up our gorgeous vineyard and valley views and experience a friendly Amista welcome (Amista means “making friends” in Spanish).
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