The Times Travel section spends 36 hours in Sonoma this week, and what do they find among the "low-key charms" in this downscale valley that lacks the "touristy trappings" of neighboring Napa? The new Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, which, we must point out, is like a larger and (albeit handsome) more tourist-friendly version of the former Niebaum-Coppola estate in Napa, complete with a museum to Coppola's filmmaking career, Don Corleone's desk, a full library of DVDs for sale, free tastings, and the new full-service restaurant Rustic. The Times also notes newcomers Scribe Winery, Sondra Bernstein's two-year-old restaurant Estate, and the quieter pleasures of the cocktail bar at the El Dorado Hotel.
But we should all take note that when Francis arrives in the neighborhood especially with the family-friendly, drunken country club atmosphere that will come with the swimming pool and bocce ball courts out front it may mark a shark-jump moment for the less trafficked Sonoma side of things. Build it, and they will come.