Wine Fun in the Alexander Valley

January and February is an excellent time of the year to visit the Alexander Valley and the surrounding communities. Why now? This is a particularly beautiful time of the year in these parts. The air is clean and clear. The traffic is less on the roads and in the tasting rooms. Most of all, the … Read more

Healdsburg Ridge Hike and Wine Picnic

Healdsburg Ridge

This is a great little wine country hike that begins very near the Simi Winery in Healdsburg. Plan on spending about an hour to an hour and a half enjoying the beauty and solitude of the open space wilderness area just above a residential housing development in northern Healdsburg. It is best to take this … Read more

J Rickards Winery – No tasting fee!

J Rickards Winery in north Sonoma County J Rickards is a small hidden winery located in north Sonoma County near Geyserville.  We’d visited J. Rickards in 2009 and a great deal has changed since then. The winery has a new winemaker, Blaine Brazil, who started in 2010.  The winery just completed an innovative cave system for barrel aging wine. A … Read more

Lancaster Estate Winery in the Chalk Hill AVA – Review

Lancaster winery in Sonoma wine countryAlmost shocking to hear, but not unexpected these days, the Lancaster Estate winery, a family-owned winery, has been sold to a large wine conglomerate. In this instance the buyer is Bill Foley, whose Foley Family Wines owns several wineries including the neighboring Chalk Hill Winery and Chateau Felice, as well as the Sebastiani Family winery located in the town of Sonoma.

This sale happened earlier this month just before we were scheduled to visit the winery for a tour and cave dinner, an event sponsored by the Wine Tourism Conference held in Santa Rosa. Despite the sale, the event took place as planned and we were certainly impressed with the beauty of the winery and its setting in the Chalk Hill area of Sonoma County.

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Diavola Restaurant – The Little Restaurant that Could

For the past four years, Dino Bugica has been running his little amazing Italian restaurant, Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria, in the quiet town of Geyserville. When it first opened, few thought that this tiny town could support more than one upscale restaurant.

Wilson Artisan Wineries slowly becoming a winery powerhouse – Soda Rock Opens

So what a surprise last week when we drove along Alexander Valley Road and approached the Soda Rock Winery. What we saw was quite a surprise. There were a beautifully laid-out picnic area, parking area, refurbished buildings and a new sign begging us to enter.

Francis Ford Coppola & the WCG Bocce Tournament = Much Fun!

It was a perfect day for our 7th Annual WCG Bocce Tournament held in GIt was a perfect day for our 7th Annual WCG Bocce Tournament held in Geyserville at the Francis Ford Coppola winery on May 26th. With four new beautiful, professional Bocce courts, the gourmet Rustic Café, and spectacular views of the Alexander Valley, we could not have asked for a better venue.

Geyserville Wine Country Excursion – Five Lovely Wineries to Visit

Who would of thought that the tiny Russian River town of Geyserville would someday emerge as a destination spot for wine tasting and gourmet dining? Yes, amazingly, this little town and its surrounding countryside has much to offer for those who love to visit wineries. Here are five wonderful wineries to visit in the surrounding area of Geyserville. This route will take you to some absolutely beautiful vineyards along the Alexander Valley and into the Dry Creek Valley.

Head north on Highway 101 and take the Independence Lane exit some 20 miles past Santa Rosa.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

You will either love it or hate it. This is Hollywood time in the Alexander Valley. It’s got swimming pools, cabanas, Bocce courts, the Tucker automobile, movie memorabilia and something for the entire family to enjoy. The Rustic Restaurant is a “must” for lunch and if the weather is nice you should ask for an outside table. What a view! You can take a tour of the winery and taste wines galore; there are many options at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The winery is open daily 11 to 5 pm.

Poolside at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery

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Francis Ford Coppola Winery — A Hollywood Touch

Movie director Francis Ford Coppola of the famed Godfather movies is big on wine. So big on wine that in fact he owns two wineries. At his majestic and historic Rubicon Estate Winery in the Napa Valley he concentrates on making the finest wines possible from his estate vineyards in the Napa Valley. Near the town of Geyserville, about five miles north of Healdsburg, Francis Ford Coppola is nearing the completion of numerous renovations to the famous and former Chateau Souverain that he purchased in 2008. At this venue he makes and bottles thousands of cases of wine made from grapes sourced from throughout California. These are really good wines but more intended for the average wine consumer.

Since his purchase, this winery has gone through a couple of names but now he has settled on the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The famous director has left no stone unturned in his quest to make this winery into one of the most popular tourists attractions in this neck of the woods of Sonoma County. Yes, once it is done people will flock here as they did on the recent Labor Day weekend when at least 1000 visitors were served in the restaurant and in the tasting room.

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