The New York Times Says This Local Town Is a Travel Destination That ‘Sparkles’

"Enjoy a 15-course meal, sample small-production wines and try on a cowboy hat" in this Sonoma County town, recommends The Times.

Geyserville was recently featured in The New York Times as a trending yet down to earth travel destination where “farmers and food lovers mingle.”

Author and journalist Amy Tara Koch writes about the noteworthy restaurants, distinctive wineries, vibrant locales and rich history of Geyserville in her Nov. 14 travel article “A Salt-of-the-Earth Town that Sparkles.”

The article profiles chef Douglas Keane’s restaurant Cyrus, which opened last year in a new location 10 years after Keane closed a previous iteration of the restaurant in Healdsburg, which had been awarded two Michelin stars.

The new version of Cyrus is helping to increase interest in Geyserville as travelers discover the “town’s buzzy bar and stylish eateries, the home goods shop that feels like a beefed-up flea market, and intimate, tucked-into-the-landscape wineries,” according to The Times.

Chef Keane has created a “15-course feast” that highlights local agriculture and is inspired by the Japanese culinary experience kaiseki, “the formal multicourse meal that showcases seasonality with dishes served elegantly, but without pretense,” wrote Koch.

Chef Doug Keane works the kitchen at Cyrus in Geyserville. (Chad Surmick/The Press Democrat)
Sonoma Duck, Kosui pear and turnips are plated for service at Cyrus in Geyserville. (Chad Surmick/The Press Democrat)

Cyrus diners get to move through a variety of locations throughout the 8,000-square-foot space during their meal: from champagne and snacks served in the “leather-accented lounge or outside among the olive trees,” to courses served in a “moodily lit area adjacent to the open kitchen” where diners are invited to interact with the chefs, to a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows that beautifully frame the landscape, to a “cocoon-like room” where the meal concludes with a “parting gift” of boxed chocolates.

Contrasting Geyserville’s rustic charm with the “supremely 21st-century” design and flavor of its restaurants, The Times also visited the Corner Project, with its craft beers and tacos and sandwiches made from locally sourced meat and produce, the trattoria-style pizzeria Diavola and the third generation Italian restaurant Catelli’s. The bar and live music space The Geyserville Gun Club and coffee house Fermata were also mentioned in the article.

The colorful history of Geyserville’s vineyards (personified by the Pedroncelli and Mazzoni families), the wineries’ intimate tasting ambience and the appellation’s diverse varietals all contribute to the town’s allure. The Times article highlights Pedroncelli Winery, which began selling grapes to households in 1927 and blossomed into a “premium brand with 14 varietals” after Prohibition; Zialena Winery, run by siblings Lisa and Mark Mazzoni; and Locals Tasting Room, the first independent collective tasting room in California, owned by father and daughter Dick Handal and Doralice Handal.

Ramen, tacos and cocktails at the Geyserville Gun Club. (Emma K. Morris)
A wide selection of cowboy hats at Bosworth & Son on the main drag in Geyserville. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Other facets that imbue Geyserville with its distinctive character, according to The Times, are its downtown “straight out of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’” with shopping at cowboy hat and Western wear store and museum Bosworth & Sons, the 45-vendor flea market emporium Gin’gilli’s Vintage Home inside what was once a 1930s Ford dealership, and the town’s sculpture garden located in a formerly derelict lot.

The New York Times previously featured Santa Rosa in its list of “52 Places to Love in 2021.” Last year, it named Healdsburg’s Single Thread restaurant among the top 50 in the US and, in April of this year, the newspaper’s wine critic Eric Asimov revealed six of his favorite places to find an excellent glass of wine with your meal in Sonoma and Napa counties, including Glen Ellen Star, The Matheson in Healdsburg and Valley Bar and Bottle in Sonoma.

Click through the above gallery to see the Geyserville businesses featured in The New York Times article.