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Geyserville Grapevine - January 2015


Geyserville Grapevine - January 2015

This has been a chilly and busy month here in Geyserville, topped by the drought-breaking storm which dropped over eleven inches of rain here. While we didn't experience quite the widespread flooding that our neighboring town of Healdsburg did, the Russian River did overflow and some homes were sitting in two or three feet of water at the height of the storm. Here at the Isis Oasis Sanctuary, our most crucial water event involved the threat of flooding of a peacock enclosure. The birds were happy to perch well above the encroaching waters and seemed to enjoy the spectacle as four or five of us fought to divert the waters away from them, succeeding at last. It was my first experience in dynamic water management and if it hadn't been so serious, it would have actually been fun. Unfortunately, since I am still getting the hang of this "country living thing", it turned out that the only boots I had that proved to be really water-proof were also rather fancy maroon ones with decorative rhinestones, contrasting with my only other functional rain gear, a metallic golden (not yellow) vinyl rain slicker and a leopard-print hat. No wonder the peacocks looked so amused....! 

Still making plans for New Year's Eve? The Black and White Ball will be held on Wednesday, December 31st at the Odd Fellows Hall at 21021 Geyserville Avenue. Tickets are $100 per person and include a three-course dinner with wine, a champagne toast at midnight, and dancing with the local Swing and Sway Band Quartet. It's an annual tradition and one well worth experiencing, with cocktails starting at 8:30, followed by dinner from 9:30-11:00 and then dancing away the rest of the year and the night ... at least until 12:30am. Tickets are for sale at the Bosworth General Store, at North County Properties, through Danielle at (707) 756-2400 or by email at

Later in the month will be the Geyserville Lodging Association's First Annual "Beer Fest". The inns and other lodgings in Geyserville will be offering special promotions during the weekend of January 24th-25th, with a local beer tasting event at the Geyserville Inn at 21714 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville. Participating breweries include many from the immediate area. Didn't know Geyserville was a beer brewing hub? Thought the Alexander Valley and environs only produced wine? Well, now you know better!  Contact Gary or Nick at the Geyserville Inn for final date and times  at (707) 857-4343. The Geyserville Lodging Association suggests that planning to stay the night after an intense examination of the local brewing products is an excellent idea and recommends finding a room at the aforementioned Alexander Valley Lodge, the Hope-Merrill House Bed and Breakfast Inn, the Climbing Rose Cottage, or at our very own Isis Oasis Lodge. You can also visit the Lodging Association website at


Foodie Moment of the Month

While I've focused on our downtown Geyserville restaurants, Diavola, Catelli's and the Geyserville Grille, this month took me over to another Geyserville eating spot - Rustic at Francis Ford Coppola's winery, just one exit away from downtown Geyserville at the Independence exit. It's always entertaining to introduce out-of-area guests to our own little bit of Hollywood glamour amongst the vines and to show off the "Godfather" desk upstairs, "Apocalypse Now" artifacts in the tasting room, boat models from Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette", and the rare Tucker automobile presiding over the  downstairs gift shop. The key is timing the visit just right so that the peach-colored sunset - assuming there is sun - can be enjoyed as it colors the vines and the hills in the distance, creating a magical hour that looks like its own special effect. Right now, that means planning an earlier arrival at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, giving time for some wine tasting before sitting down and perusing the menu. I love lamb, and the "Francis's Favorites" section gives me two dishes to choose from - if I can entice a friend to join me, it's got to be the Marrakesh lamb for two, served in a traditional tagine clay pot with raisin-studded cous-cous. If I'm not with another lamb aficionado, then I take the single-serving Madame Bali rack of lamb which is marinated in pomegranate juice. Either way, I'm happy.

My other foodie moment this month? The great Geyserville Fire Department Chili which was served up with apple cider during the annual Geyserville Tree Lighting and Illuminated Tractor Parade. Put it on your calendar for next year.