The eclectic town of Healdsburg is located in Northern California and Sonoma County. The region is home to multiple wine appellations. With over 100 wineries and tasting rooms, there are multiple choices and options to discover some of the best-kept secrets in California.

One of my favorites was Kachina Vineyards. The word Kachina derives from the Hopi Indian God, meaning good harvest & prosperity; hence the suitable designation for a winery.

Husband and wife team, Greg and Nancy, are the owners and winemakers. They have no employees and do all the work themselves, but still find solace in this mission versus their old lives of working in the High Tech industry. The winery is completely off the grid with 55 acres and is 100% solar powered. It makes for a great afternoon to hear their private stories, feel their love for this industry, and taste their passion that is in every bottle. They have a small production of only 1,000 wines, so every bottle is a rare treat. They are also the only winery in Sonoma County that produces Charbono – which also came home with me.

They served a mouth-watering Tuscan lunch with locally sourced charcuterie that was impeccably paired with the 2011 Chardonnay – Russian River Valley. There is something innately simple and pleasurable about sipping wine, on a sun-kissed patio, overlooking vineyards, feeling the soft breeze, while munching on fresh cheeses, olives, crispy breads and vegetables.

Next came a vulnerable truffle with Zinfandel port. It was the perfect pairing and portion so we had more room for wine.

Guests can also seek respite at the elegant and serene cottage onsite. It’s a simple cure to writers block, too much work, or too much stress. There are minimal distractions (unless you count goats or grapes). They offer a free two-night stay each year for all club members.