Ranch & Coast Magazine

November 2022

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rows of grapes, explaining various varietals as we sipped corresponding wines. Later, we entered the 25,000-square- foot cave carved into the hillside where barrels of wine are aged at cool, constant temperatures. Yeakel is a walking encyclopedia not only of wine, but the area's history where Cyrus Alexander built a homestead in the 19th century. In 1962, Maggie and Harry Wetzel purchased a sizable portion of the homestead, "over too many martinis," their daughter Katie Wetzel Murphy told me with a smile. "My parents were interested in preserving the history and the buildings." At first, the couple raised livestock, planted gardens, and restored Alexander's original home. Later, the Wetzels were among the first families in the area to plant premium grape varieties and build a small winery. eir eldest son, Hank, produced Alexander Valley Vineyard's first wine in 1975. Now the third generation of the Wetzel family is producing award-winning wines with winemaker Kevin Hall that include cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and merlot along with zinfandel, pinot noir, sangiovese, cabernet franc, and syrah. is year marks the Wetzel family's 60th anniversary on the property. A few miles away, we enjoyed an end-of-summer concert in the historic plaza at Healdsburg, founded in 1857 by Harmon Heald who had journeyed from Ohio in search of gold. Close by are shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and hotels including the plaza's cozy Healdsburg Inn, Hotel Healdsburg with a spa and garden swimming pool, the chic and eco-friendly h2hotel, and the 16-room Les Mars, an elegant Relais & Châteaux property decorated with antiques. We checked into e Cottages at Healdsburg, charming, contemporary bungalows shaded by olive trees, each with a front porch and private entrance, furnished balconies or patios, and a shared outdoor swimming pool. @ranchandcoast ranchandcoast.com 68 NOVEMBER 2022 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE << Matheson offers farm-to-table wine country cuisine Cottages at Healdsburg Detour destinations

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