PCH Tour: Sonoma Valley Bicycle Wine Tasting

State Park Ocean Sunset

Day 39 – I woke up early. The plan for today was to head out with the Hammock Guys, roll through Sonoma Valley tasting wine, and end up in Vallejo for some Six Flags action the next day. I had all of my panniers packed and ready. After I took a shower I looked online for Six Flags tickets and realized that the park was not open on Fridays, now that they switched to winter hours. I broke the news to the guys. They were a bit bummed. We sat around over breakfast trying to figure out to do. We decided to leave all of our bags except for one, hit wine country and then circle back to Russ’s family’s place.

Our bikes felt like rocket ships without all of the weight. It was easy to cruise at 15mph and hills were no problem. We worked our way through Santa Rosa and out to the 12. The first winery we hit up was Ledson. The tastings were in a huge mansion surrounded by vineyards. We parked our bikes and tried not to look too grungy and sweaty as we went inside. We did a tasting for $15. The wines were amazing, some of the best I’ve had. Our bartender (not sure of the technical name, maybe it’s “tasting commander”) was also into craft beers. He gave us some tips on some other places to try out in Santa Rosa. We finished our wine and hit the road.

The further we went, the more wineries there were. We stopped again a few miles down the road. This place wasn’t as good. Not so fancy looking and the wine was mediocre. The bartender did give us some tips on a side route to take in town. We thanked him and moved on. The last winery we went to was a small place. It was only a $5 tasting fee, which we were excited about. The guy doing the tastings was also a part owner in the business. He made all of the wines himself. His stuff was pretty good, and he was a super interesting dude. Frank and him talked a lot about planting for sustainability. We also met the other owner / artist, Steve. He was a cool dude too. He just returned from Burning Man and talked about how amazing it was.

We took the side route that the previous “tasting commander” told us about. It was a great little windy side road. We enjoyed the ride without our bags and took our time getting to downtown Sonoma. Just on the outskirts, we stopped at the Olde Sonoma Public House, where we ordered some pizza from across the street and enjoyed a cold beer. Filled up on dough and beer, we spun into downtown and grabbed a nice bottle of white wine for our awesome hosts.

It was only 22 miles back home. I led the way out of town down to the 116 where we turned west. We were really moving, about 18mph, when suddenly we hit a terrible head wind. I pushed and pushed, but I struggled to keep our pace above 10mph. At the top of a hill I pulled over to grab some water and the guys moved on ahead of me. I caught up and kept a tight line right behind Frank. The guys blocked the wind enough that I could draft behind them and get a bit of a break.

We kept rotating the lead and eventually made it home. That night we had another great meal prepared by Debbie and Wes. We stuffed ourselves and passed out. The Hammock Guys would be moving on to San Francisco in the morning. All of our paths were diverging.

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)

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