Why Geyserville, not Healdsburg


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

Old Vine Zinfandel
Geyserville and not Healdsburg
A look at the beautiful Alexander Valley in Geyserville

Geyserville is In

Don’t get me wrong, I love Healdsburg and its many choices of lodging, restaurants, and shopping. But Geyserville has many advantages over Healdsburg.

  • Not as pricey
  • Laidback lifestyle
  • Fewer people, less noise, and more relaxing
  • Easy access to wineries in Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley
  • The perfect atmosphere for the wine country enthusiast

Geyserville two-night getaway

Here is a great suggestion for a two-night getaway to Geyserville. For lodging, book the Geyserville Inn. There is also the Hope – Merrill House, a fun B&B. We like the Geyserville Inn because the rooms have recently been remolded, the price per night is a bargain, and the staff is very friendly.

Day One

For lunch, we have two options. If the weather is warm, consider a picnic lunch. On the way up to Geyserville, stop in at Big John’s Market in Healdsburg. The market is just off the Dry Creek exit on Highway 101 and on the way to Geyserville. Big John’s is a gourmet’s delight. Big John’s has a fabulous salad bar, cheese shop, and olive bar. Their deli sandwiches are delicious. If the weather is not cooperating, then head up to the Geyserville Grill for lunch.

Geyserville and not Healdsburg
Geyserville Inn

Now it is time to head to one of the nearby wineries to enjoy some wine tasting. For Day One, let’s explore the Dry Creek Valley. Take Canyon Road and head over to Dry Creek Road. Whether you turn right or left, the choice of wineries is dazzling. The majority of wineries on Dry Creek Road have picnic facilities.

Old Vine Zinfandel
Old vine Zinfandel at Forchini

We suggest these two wineries for tasting and picnicking: Forchini Vineyards & Winery is a quaint and small family-run winery. Forchini is to the left, 2 miles away. Forchini is open on Saturday and Sunday, but will take visitors by appointment the other days of the week. Call and the owners will likely serve you. The vineyard views are fantastic. Ask your server to point you to the Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards dating back to the early 1900s.

Turn right and head to Unti, a three-mile jaunt. You will need to call ahead to schedule a tasting at Unti. You will not be disappointed. Unti has some unusual varieties of wine to enjoy. Unti is also a small family-owned winery with deep roots in the Dry Creek Valley. Excellent vino here!

Dining in Geyserville

Geyserville getaway

Diavola Pizzaria is an Italian cuisine delight. Diavola is popular and does not take reservations. If you must wait for a table, it is well worth your time. The pizzas and pastas are authentic Italian. Our favorite dish is the spaghetti with pork cheek ragu.

Catelli’s is in its third generation of family ownership. The restaurant is more formal than Diavola. There is a full bar and a great selection of Italian foods on the menu. Catelli’s takes reservations. You will likely need them.

Best bet for breakfast is the Geyserville Grill.

Day Two in Geyserville

Start the day by taking a walk from the Geyserville Inn to the town center for an excellent cup of brew. Or, walk along the Geyserville Road heading north that is parallel to 101 Highway. It is a quiet road with not much traffic.

For Day Two, let’s visit two wineries in the Alexander Valley. We recommend Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery and J Rickards Winery.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery is very busy, with many attractions besides wine. There is a huge outdoor pool and deck area for visitors to enjoy. If you love the game of Bocce, there are four professional courts. There is also movie memorabilia from the many films produced by Francis Ford Coppola. The desk where the Godfather sat is always fun to view. There is also a classy restaurant, Rustic. And of course, many good wines to try.

Tucker at Francis Ford winery
The Tucker car at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville

J Rickards Winery

From the Geyserville Inn, the J Rickards Winery is just a few miles away at 24505 Chianti Road. J Rickards is a fun winery to visit. The staff is terrific, as are the wines. Chances are you might meet either the winemaker, Blaine Brazil, or Jim Rickards himself. The winery is a great spot for a fun picnic among the vineyards. They do have box lunches from Big John’s Market. Check the J Rickards Website for details.

The cave at J Rickards is quite unique

For dinner on the second night, try Diavola or Catelli’s, whichever one you missed on the first night. The Geyserville Grill is also an excellent choice if you do not want to go too far away from your lodging. By the way, Uber and Lyft operate extensively because of the nearby casino. If you want to head into Healdsburg, these two companies should be available for you.

Day Three – heading home

If you have any time available, drive south to Healdsburg and give yourself time to explore the downtown area. There are many shops, tasting rooms, and art galleries to explore. We like to breakfast at Costeaux Bakery before heading back home.

Important Geyserville Resources

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.