Where the heck is Healdsberg? In Sonoma! OK, I couldn't resist. Around a half dozen wine trails so close to San Francisco. So close, so tempting! Been there, done that, but never to the Dry Creek AVA, just northwest of Healdsberg. I usually find it really easy to get a handle on a new wine area with the help of a wine map published by the local winery or grape growers association. Walla Walla and Paso Robles are two example of associations that publish excellent wine maps. I needed more than a map to track down a decent wine map when we arrived in Healdsberg on Tuesday afternoon. In fact, we didn't get a hold of a decent map until we finally managed to pick one up the next day. I suppose we could have just left the Best Western, gone under the highway, and headed out Dry Creek Road, which is sort of what we did. On Wednesday we got really far out past Lake Sonoma to Gustafson Winery. They weren't even on the map, so we used our other trick for getting a quick read, or is it bead, on a wine region. Ask the winery people. Tasting room staff are almost always knowledgeable about wine, other wineries, and restaurant, and more than willing to help. Johanna at Avore recommended Baci in downtown Healdsberg, so we checked it out. BTW, our third technique? If we see a new winery or one that's not on the map,we check it out.That's how we found Johanna. Baci reminded us of other wonderful restaurants in small wine towns such as the old Nick's in Mc Minnville, Thistle in McMinnville, Artisan in Paso Robles and Brasserie Four and Saffron in Walla Walla. Look for the next post on best restaurants with best wine lists.