Spotlight: Healdsburg, California

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A town renowned for its eclectic offering of all the finest things in life.

Known as the gateway to the Sonoma Coast, Healdsburg, California, is constantly regarded as one of the top ten smallest towns you must see in the US… Before it disappears forever. We can say the Gods blessed Healdsburg. It gave it cool wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers.

Its population is just ticking over 12,000, and surrounded by many of Northern California’s great wine appellations. We are talking about Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley. You understood, Healdsburg is the perfect place to discover all the best that Sonoma County wine country has to offer.

It is little wonder it is the fourth largest wine producer in the world ; accounting for more than 90 per cent of all California’s wine exports. In recent years, sun-kissed Sonoma County, with more than 50-miles of Pacific coastline. It has been sitting pretty next to its warmer sister Napa Valley. We know it as the most diverse wine region in the new world. With a vista that hosts mountains, forest-studded hills, and endless valleys, it forms more than just a dramatic view ; here’s enough micro-climates, terrains and topographic traits to give way to a wide scope of terroir. All of which come together to form 17 American Viticultural Areas (or appellations) ; regions with exceptional soils and climates that allow particular grape varieties to grow particularly well. Producing six percent of all the wine in California, Sonoma County boasts more than 60,000 acres of grapes across 425 wineries.

Sonoma, the birthplace of California’s expanding and exploding wine industry – and after Disneyland, is the most popular tourist destination in California – was named the best US wine destination according to TripAdvisor. If you haven’t been yet. Pack your bags. You won’t be disappointed.

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Jérôme Aucourt

In memory

For fifteen years, Jérôme Aucourt introduced tens of thousands of people around the world to the wines of Château de Pommard. His passion for Burgundy and his knowledge of wine was limitless. In memory of our friend, colleague, father, husband, and wine advisor, we have established the Jérôme Aucourt Scholarship at our Ècole V Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) professional wine school. Details of the scholarship program will be published soon. Jérôme is survived by his wife Allison, their two young children, his mother, father, and two brothers.