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Old farm crossroads luring more tourists as locals rediscover its charms

  • Downtown Geyserville, Saturday August 1, 2009. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2009

Geyserville, the old farm center in northern Sonoma County, has spiffed up its image to capture more of the Wine Country tourist trade.

New and remodeled buildings with fine art galleries and premium tasting rooms have sprouted up on its main street, next to the dusty, century-old brick facades that lend Geyserville its charm.

Welcoming signs were put up last month touting Geyserville as ?The Wine Capital of Sonoma County? and listing ?wine tasting, lodging, restaurants, shopping, galleries and so much more.?

Geyserville

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Some of that is Chamber of Commerce hyperbole. But there is no doubt Geyserville is getting noticed these days.

?It?s hitting its stride. It?s becoming a destination of its own,? said Cosette Trautman?Scheiber, co-owner of two bed-and-breakfast inns: Hope-Merrill House, an Eastlake, stick-style Victorian, and the 1904 Hope-Bosworth House, an example of Queen Anne craftsman style.

?It?s the spillover from Healdsburg. It has to go somewhere. And Geyserville happened to be vacant,? said Harry Bosworth, 70, a lifelong resident who owns Bosworth & Son. His old-style hardware store has been in business since 1911.

Situated close to the Russian River in the heart of the Alexander Valley, Geyserville, with a population of about 2,000, is lapped by a sea of vineyards, redwoods and a mountain backdrop.

There are big-name wineries on the town?s peripheries, including Francis Ford Coppola?s new venture at the site of the former Chateau Souverain.

Highway 101 runs nearby, with Healdsburg six miles to the south. Visitors also arrive via Highway 128 and other scenic backroads.

?I think people like it because it?s kind of secluded,? said Heather O?Donnell, who?s worked for three years at the Meeker Vineyards tasting room in the center of Geyserville.


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