Victorian Homes Built Entirely from Redwoods in Wine Country
When driving through the hills just north of Santa Rosa, you might expect to find mission-style homes and ranches—but turn onto Geyserville Avenue, and you’ll feel as though you’ve entered late-1800s London. Two Victorian homes, one in a classic Queen Anne style and the other an Eastlake home, face each other from across the street. The sister properties look alike on the inside and outside; both were crafted entirely from redwood trees and are decorated with period furnishings and silk-screened Gilded-Age wallpapers by designer Bruce Bradbury.
Different motifs accent the guest rooms. The Vineyard View room, found in the Hope-Merrill House, is an idyllic ode to the surrounding wine country with its grape vine wallpaper. The Chintz room, across the street in the Hope-Bosworth House, feels like a life-size Edwardian dollhouse, complete with a clawfoot tub in the private bath.
At 9 a.m. each morning, a complimentary breakfast is served in the Hope-Merrill House’s formal dining room, including scones with homemade jams, egg dishes, fresh fruit, and coffee. For an extra fee, staff can assemble a lunch basket—perfect if you get hungry while exploring local tasting rooms with the two wine passes included in this getaway.
Geyserville, California: Wine Tasting in Sonoma County’s Fertile Alexander Valley
The Alexander Valley rivals Napa in growing some of the best wine in California. Vineyards cover the rolling hillsides, and from the Hope-Merrill House you can see Geyser Peak Winery, a sprawling series of vineyards that produce award-winning wines. It’s perched atop Geyser Peak Mountain—home to the world’s largest geothermal field, where thermal steam often rockets into the air and settles on the grapevines.
The town only extends about two blocks, but in typical wine country fashion, it has many sophisticated restaurants where chefs use farm-to-table ingredients. Main Street looks like it did 100 years ago, with brick storefronts and a lack of chains or big brands; most of the businesses are independently owned and many have been passed through families for generations.