Alexander Valley runs from the border with Mendocino County in the north to the south east side of Healdsburg. It contains over 40 wineries and several hundred vineyards with nearly 12,500 acres planted. The vineyards are planted on both sides of the Russian River and extend into the hills on the east side of the valley. Primary varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay.
Real estate in the Cloverdale and Geyserville area is often a relative bargain compared to equivalent property immediately around Healdsburg. Smart buyers can save significant amounts on their purchase if they don’t mind a slightly longer commute and slightly warmer weather. Cloverdale, at the northern end of Sonoma County, does enjoy less fog and more summer heat than Healdsburg and other areas closer to the Russian River valley.
The geography of the Alexander Valley and the layout of the roads explains some of the real estate pricing variability. There is a summer crossing of the Russian River that is highly convenient in the summer for quick access to Highway 101 and Healdsburg. On the other hand, in that area during most of the year you have to drive north on River Road and then south on Highway 101. This adds at least fifteen minutes for trips south in the winter for people living near the southern end of Cloverdale’s River Road.
In Geyserville, the north bound River Road ends at the Vineyards, a lovely development with a lake and miles of riding and hiking trails. There is no need to “detour” to get to Healdsburg, so the end of River Road doesn’t have a major impact on travel time. The dead end also reduces traffic impact on all the property in the area. The vineyards and homes along River Road here are closer to Healdsburg pricing due to the ease of access to Healdsburg.
The section of Alexander Valley along Highway 128 from Geyserville to the beginning of the Knight’s Valley appellation is dense with vineyards and wineries. Home values are higher here due to proximity to Healdsburg. Many of the wineries in this section of the Alexander Valley produce superb, award-winning wines, so the vineyard values reflect the underlying quality of the wines that can be produced. There are quite a few lovely back roads in this area.
Wine country maps, vineyard and winery statistics, and lists of award winning wines are available from everywine.com