June is heaven in and around Healdsburg, with temperatures still relatively comfortable and plenty of outdoor activities to go around. Here’s a sampling of some of the events and happenings on our radar screen for the rest of the month:
If it’s summer, it’s time for the annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival, a full week of live jazz, blues, and world music at various locations around town. This year’s event started June 13 and runs til June 19, spotlighting several world-class artists including Bobi Cespedes, Charlie Musselwhite, Willie Jones III, and Dave Holland. Artistic Director Marcus Shelby has put together an eclectic mix of acts, inking bands from all over the world. The festival concludes June 19 with a Juneteenth concert and celebration on the Healdsburg Plaza. See you there!
The plant-based Little Saint restaurant is open for business in the old SHED space on North Street and it continues to shine. Daily menus spotlight local produce, the coffee bar is swanky, and the wine shop is on point. The restaurant also is programming live music and wine tasting in the café on Thursday nights. Later this month, on June 23, Little Saint will host its own little music festival, with Jamie Drake performing downstairs and Johnny Fritz, Jenny O, and Charmaine’s Names performing upstairs. The June 23 shows are free, and the first 100 people through the door will receive a one-of-a-kind Taylor Rushing designed risograph poster.
An updated tasting room and tasting experiences (see photos below) are among the highlights at the new-and-improved Merriam Vineyards on the southern end of Healdsburg, which just completed a total rebrand. Standard seated tastings include sips of five different Russian River Valley wines, while the two-hour estate and vineyard tour gets guests out and about amid the vines. The winery also sells harvest boxes on weekends—these are perfect for a picnic and even better when you buy a bottle of wine to wash them down. Photos by Kim Carroll.
Single-vineyard Sonoma Coast pinot noir is the only wine on the menu at Bannister Wines, which just this month opened a tasting room in the old bank space on Geyserville Avenue in Geyserville. The room still has all the details from its former life as a bank, including wooden teller windows and a giant safe. Healdsburg artist Jake Messing created four intricately detailed fauna paintings for the walls—the artwork is so spectacular it’s almost worth a separate trip. Founded by Marty and Gary Bannister in 1989, Bannister is now under the stewardship of their son, Brook Bannister.