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Geyserville Grapevine - March 2015


Geyserville Grapevine - March 2015

I had a farm in Sonoma .... well, actually Geyserville, and not exactly a farm,  but I still find myself quoting Isak Dinesen's famous line, "I had a farm in Africa..." which opens her masterwork, "Out of Africa".  And while Africa and Sonoma County are arguably very different, there are still some similarities.I thought of this recently as our long dry period briefly broke and then continued and we began really yearning for rain. Dinesen did the same and mused that wherever she might be in the world, she would always be wondering if it was raining in the Ngong Hills. 

This month, my own experiences on the land focused on the Mystery of the Escaping Goats here at Isis Oasis. Our normally docile trio of Nubian goats were suddenly and repeatedly found cavorting - or at least standing and looking at us curiously while occasionally nibbling a bit of grass - all over the place. This soon developed into a routine. The human who spotted them first would then sound the alarm by text message - how modern. Whoever was on hand then would  cheerfully call out words of, ah,  encouragement while chasing the goats back into the pen, then would fasten the gate, go back to whatever they were doing before the alert - and.... wait for the next text message. Various theories were put forward about the Great Goat Escape(s), most of them involving the goats discovering a new ability to leap over the fence or perhaps jump over it from the roof of one of their enclosures. This theory necessitated removing some items, rearranging others, and generally attempting to goat-proof the pen from the inside. All to no avail, and for a few days, the sight of groups of would-be goat herders prancing across the property was common. Yet no one ever actually saw the goats escaping. I was assured that they could not get out of the gate, which was indeed latched, but I noticed that whenever we did drive them back into the pen, they never used their supposed new athletic abilities to jump back in. So I inspected the gate area and found a few stray goat hairs, exactly where they would be if the goats were managing to squeeze out. Seizing a nearby long-handled fruit picker, I wove it through part of the fence where I thought they might be able to squeeze through and waited. And waited. No more goat escapes. I felt like Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, if they had applied their skills to missing goats. But maybe James Herriott  is a better comparison!

Geyserville in March

This month, Geyserville is celebrating National Women's History Month with a number of the Geyserville Lodging Association members lodgings putting on a Girlfriend Getaway promotion, with special offers for women wanting to escape the city - or just escape. The official theme of this year's special month is "Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives" - something that definitely needs time for reflection, contemplation, and conversation - all of which can be provided by a getaway to Geyserville. 

March 6th is the annual Wine Barrel Tasting along the Wine Road of Northern Sonoma. Numerous Geyserville wineries and tasting rooms are participating. For two weekends in March, March 6- 8 & March 13-15, the 2015 Barrel Tasting gives wine fans the chance to taste a wine as its developing - and then buy it ahead of time for delivery later. If you'd like to test your own palate's prognostication skills, this is your chance. The event costs $60 for a weekend ticket including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday or $40 for Sunday only. Designated drivers pay just $10. Participating Geyserville locations include Locals, Mercury/Ramazotti, Pedroncelli Winery, and Route 128 Vineyards & Winery. While not all the participating wineries in the Northern Sonoma area are offering food, most of the Geyserville participants are providing snacks.  For more information, call 800-723-6336 or email

Foodie Moment of the Month. 

Pech Merle winery celebrated its grand opening recently with an evening of ribbon cutting, wine tasting, and noshes in its beautiful new tasting room tucked between the Geyserville Volunteer Fire Department and Geyserville Mud. While I was helping myself to possibly more than my fair share of the berry-adorned mound of soft cheese, attendees had the chance to learn a thing or two about the unusually named winery, inspired by French caves filled with prehistoric paintings which fascinated winery owners Bruce and Cheryl Lawton during a trip to France. An informal survey of the group indicated that the favorite wine of the evening was the Cabernet Franc from winemaker John Pepe, who can occasionally be found manning the tasting room himself. But just be sure not to call them Perch Murl - the name is lighter and breezier than that, closer to Pesh Mel. 


That's it for this month! Remember to send me your tips and suggestions for the Geyserville Grapevine!