Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Weekend in Healdsburg: Segway of Healdsburg

For our activity in Headlsburg, we redeemed our Groupon for Segway of Healdsburg that we bought a couple of months back.  We had been wanting to try segways since it looked like a lot of fun.
Segway of Healdsburg

We met at a parking lot in Healdsburg and were first taught how to ride the segways by the tour guides.  It was not as easy as it looked!  At least for me. :(  I guess my coordination/balance is horrible.  We first had to learn how to step on the segway, and then how to move forward and make turns, how to speed up and slow down, etc.

Our particular tour consisted of three couples, including us, and two instructors/guides.  We practiced around the parking area for a little bit before actually starting the tour.  Our first stop was a small winery called Christopher Creek.  It was a small winery but looked like they won a lot of awards judging from the medal displays inside the tasting room.

Christopher Creek Winery

There was a $5 tasting fee, but it is waived if you buy a bottle.  We shared a tasting but ended up not buying anything, although our fee was waived because the other couples bought some wine!

Dan enjoying his wine tasting

We probably spent around 20-25 minutes here and then made our way to the next winery.  One thing to note, this winery was located on top of a hill.  When coming down the hill on the segway, I lost control and sped down the hill uncontrollably!  It was rather scary but also quite exhilarating!  The instructor kept shouting, "Take control of your segway, slow down, weight on your heels..." :p

Vineyard at Christopher Creek Winery

The second stop was Viszlay Vineyards.  This winery is owned by a father and son, and we actually met the owner (father), John Viszlay.  He was such a cool guy and gave us a quick overview of his winery and free tastings!

Viszlay Winery
Viszlay Vineyard Grounds

John was very knowledgeable and personable; we loved this experience much better than the first winery.  I think this was probably the first winery we visited where the wine was poured by the actual owner!

Walking past the barrels

We made our way through the barrels and were greeted by John's dog.  John explained that Viszlay was a Hungarian name, and so all his oak barrels were made of wood from Hungary.  They could reuse the barrels for years, and in some cases, they refinish the insides to use it even more.  He also explained that the finish of the inside was what gave the taste of the wine:  light finish will produce lighter wines.

Personalized tour from the owner himself!

He then proceeded to take us to one of the stainless steel tanks and gave us a tasting directly from the tank.  That was such a cool experience and very memorable!

Tasting directly from the tank!

This was one of the most memorable wine tasting experiences for us, mainly due to the personal attention from the owner, John Viszlay.  Usually the experience at wine tastings are very commercialized, crowded, and pretty impersonal.  However, Viszlay Vineyards was very much the opposite of all that.  We felt very welcomed and learned so much in such a short period of time.

After our second winery, we made our way back to our initial meeting point to end the two hour tour. Dan really enjoyed the segway tour, and I did too, although I wish I had more control of my segway. Hopefully next time!  :)

Links to our Valentine's Weekend in Healdsburg Trip Report:

Day 1
Lunch at Barn Diva
Segway of Healdsburg
H2 Hotel Healdsburg
Dinner at Cyrus

Day 2
Lunch at Umami Burger
Bi-Rite Ice Cream


  1. Yup Segway was fun :) Will definitely do it again, hopefully my balance/coordination is better then :p