Biking the SonomaNapa Wine Country – Day 4

By day 4 we’d become pretty accustomed to chilly and foggy mornings. This morning was no exception. The fog was very thick. Again, I was really happy to have brought along so many layering options – and a flashing red tail light. We typically left by 8:30 and that was the plan this morning too so the fog and early morning light left it fairly dark out. Here’s the route for the day.

Breakfast at the Madrona Manor was buffet style and very European in style. Lots of cut meats and cheeses. There was also a varient of Chilaquiles that I’d have to say I wasn’t a big fan of. Regardless, there was plenty of tasty stuff to fuel the day.

Despite the fog, which was going to burn off pretty quickly, the ride up West Dry Creek Rd from Healdsburg area was a really pleasant ride. Highly recommended.

At the point we crossed Hwy 101, things got less interesting to look at until we got past Geyserville. That was a nice section of road as well but more highly trafficked than the early morning. Lots and lots of pleasant vineyards to look at along this section. And in fact a winery along that route, Robert Young Estate Winery, was our lunch stop for the day.

It was a pretty long lunch stop. The weather was fantastic and had warmed up by that point. We never really got into the tasting room. We were greeted with early tastings of wine and also fresh pressed Cabernet. See the picture above. It didn’t taste exactly like grape juice you might buy at the grocery store but it was definitely fresh juice but tasted nothing like the wine it will eventually become.

Backroads put on the usual spread for lunch – wow. While we munched on that there were tastings of multiple Chardonnay’s, Merlot and Cabernet. All really excellent.

With all the food and wine, there was a fair amount of lingering at lunch before getting back on the bike. I opted to take the Franz Valley Road option that day. Much less traffic than Hwy 128 and much more scenic. Also much hillier! If you check out the elevation profile of the route you’ll find a big climb in there. From the top of hill on that route it changed from Sonoma to Napa county and was a pleasant descent into Calistoga. Napa county maintains their roads better than Sonoma and there was a stark difference between the lumpy pot-holed climb and the smooth descent. Locals apparently lament the disparity.

I landed in Calistoga to find the van just about to shuttle some people into Yountville and I’d been told the rest of the day’s route was more highly trafficked highway (with a shoulder) but that didn’t sound all that appealing. I’d already done 50 miles so why not just go enjoy the hot tub at the Villagio in Yountville? That’s exactly what I did.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s