Weekend Guide to Sonoma County’s Geyserville Wineries

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Located in Alexander Valley, just off busy Highway 101, the tiny town of Geyserville has found a way to keep things quiet and charming. With a population of less than 900, wandering along downtown’s main street is like stepping back in time. With western facades and world-class wine, visitors should come to Geyserville prepared to discover a new favorite bottle or two. A camera isn’t a bad idea either.

Day 1

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Wineries / Geyserville

Meeker Vineyards

The hundred-plus-year-old bank building makes for a fun setting to taste wines (before it called the bank home, tastings were held in a 40-foot-tall tipi). Typically, you’ll hear blues in the background, and maybe even meet a Meeker, at this family-run tasting room. Meeker Vineyards produces about 16,000 cases per year, with a focus on”Big Reds.”

Insider Tip

Meeker’s FroZin, a twist on the classic “ice wine,” is a great choice for those fond of dessert wines.

Directions

Take Highway 101 to the Geyserville exit about five minutes north of Healdsburg. Meeker Vineyards tasting room is located in downtown Geyserville, in the historic bank building.

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Wineries / Cloverdale

Pech Merle Winery

The tasting room at the 15-acre winery is a “dream in progress,” but you won’t hear any complaints after a visit to Pech Merle Winery in downtown Geyserville. Warm, inviting and family owned, Pech Merle Winery claims five vintages, eight varieties, and 105 medals. If hunger strikes during the visit, grab a bottle and walk a few steps to one of two favorite local restaurants, Diavola or Catelli’s. Dogs, also known as Pech Pups, are welcome while you enjoy a glass or two.

Insider Tip

Why is it called Pech Merle? Ask during your tasting. It’s a great story to sip to.

Directions

From Meeker Vineyards, head southeast on Geyserville Avenue. You don’t even need to move the car.

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Wineries / Geyserville

Clos Du Bois Wines

Clos du Bois uses French winemaking techniques to make wine with grapes grown under the California sun. The list of varieties available here is long: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel are just a handful of the selections available--a noble feat, as it takes multiple vineyards to produce such a large selection of wine. The tasting room is bright and lively, typically bustling with guests. Clos du Bois farms almost 800 acres, and prides itself on its sustainability: more than 4,000 solar panels provide almost 100% of the winery’s power, the equivalent of providing electricity to 164 homes a year.

Insider Tip

It’s pronounced “clo dew bwah.” Practice a couple times and ordering will be a snap.

Directions

From Pech Merle Winery, head southeast on Geyserville Avenue toward Crowell Street for just over 2 miles, then take a left. Clos du Bois is on the right.

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Wineries / Geyserville

Cast Wines

Set in Dry Creek Valley, Cast’s sparkling wine gets rave reviews. But there’s a long line of beloved still wines rounding out the list, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. Plan ahead and book a vineyard picnic. Spring through fall, visitors can order a deli lunch and picnic on the winery grounds for $25 per person. Cast Wines offers tastings in a casual but scenic setting, and is a dog friendly winery, so bring your pampered pooch along too.

Insider Tip

Go for sunset. Cast Wines has a reputation for its views of the countryside.

Directions

From Clos du Bois, take Highway 101 N to exit 512 for Canyon Road. Turn left and travel for a little over two miles, before turning right onto Dry Creek Road.

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Day 2

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Wineries / Geyserville

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

He created history in Hollywood, then planted roots in Sonoma County. Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola offers visitors a unique Wine Country experience at his namesake winery, so plan to spend extra time at this stop after the tasting: a Hollywood museum complete with memorabilia from Coppola’s films, two seasonal pools, bocce ball courts, and a boutique that looks more like a fine home goods store than a tasting room gift shop adorn the grounds.

Insider Tip

If your schedule allows, reserve a spot at the winery’s Diamonds in the Dark tasting. Being blindfolded for an hour or so during the tasting, will surprise your senses.

Directions

Take Highway 101 North and exit at Independence Lane. Turn left on Independence Underpass and continue straight onto Souverain Road to enter the winery.

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Wineries /

Virginia Dare Winery

From Hollywood history to American history, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola is premiering another Geyserville Wine Country experience for visitors. Newcomer Virginia Dare Winery is named after the first child born to English parents in the lost colony of Roanoke. The colony was found abandoned three years after it was settled, and the whereabouts of its residents have remained a mystery throughout the centuries. Close enough to Francis Ford Coppola Winery to easily see both properties, Virginia Dare Winery allows visitors to enjoy reds and whites in a quieter setting than the more popular Francis Ford Coppola Vineyard.

Insider Tip

All of the wine blends have names that tie in with Virginia Dare and the colony’s lore and legend. Spend a little time brushing up on your American history beforehand, and you’ll appreciate the wine label connections even more.

Directions

From Francis Ford Coppola Winery, take Highway 101 North and exit at Canyon Road/128. Turn left on Canyon Road, making a quick left after you go under the freeway. The winery is about a quarter mile ahead on the left.

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Wineries / Geyserville

Trione Vineyards & Winery

The Trione Family has deep roots in Sonoma County. Three generations strong, the family has been farming for forty years, with 700 acres of vines in Wine Country’s Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, and the Sonoma Coast. Tastings are relaxed, not formal, so on a nice day don’t hesitate to take your glass outside and play a game of bocce ball.

Insider Tip

If it’s open, be sure to peek inside the old stone building next to the tasting room. Built more than 100 years ago as part of a working Italian winery, the Trione family restored it to its former glory and uses it now for special events.

Directions

From Virginia Dare Winery, it’s just a 5 minute drive on Hwy. 101 South. Take exit 510 for Geyserville Ave, and take a right.

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