Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kid-Free Monday - Wine Tasting on Bikes? by Scott Krueger

 One last ditch effort at preventing pulmonary problems later in the day was as fruitless as the resulting empty flute with our pancake breakfast. No fancy fruited, sparkling, fix for Freddy this morning.
Alas, despite my countless efforts at redirecting our Independence Day plans, I found myself en route to the designated meeting place for today’s toasty tasting trip, via bicycle. Quite consciously, I chose to avoid checking the projected high temperature for the day, and as of writing this day’s posting, I have no need to review the historical statistics. Suffice it to say that if felt like the mercury blasted through the glass ceiling of every thermometer in the Dry Creek Valley.
Our initially merry group of 2 guides, 7 willing riders, and myself, ventured out around 82 degrees A.M, heading northward up West Dry Creek Road. This was a wise choice as it is a much less traveled route than the more popular, rolling track of Dry Creek Road.
Our first stop was the beautiful Quivira Vineyards and Winery ( Their awareness of their surroundings and efforts to maintain them in a sustainable fashion were evident on the ride into the parking lot by the multitude of solar panels blanketing their roof. Once inside, their hospitality staff proudly outlined some of the details of their biodynamic farming practices.
We tried a variety of wines including a delicious Sauvignon Blanc as well as a nicely balanced Zin. It was fortuitous that early in the day we were able to secure a nice, light, crisp white wine that could be chilled in the van-toting cooler prior to our picnic lunch. This fit the bill perfectly.
After replacing the 9 pounds of water dispensed via perspiration over the first hour of our ride, we proceeded back onto the melting blacktop around 88 degress A.M. At this point we began heading easterly toward our second destination on Dry Creek Road. We stopped along the way for a brief education of the vines that filled the Dry Creek Valley.
Once up the 10% grade of a driveway, we arrived at Papapietro Perry’s Winery ( to a wonderfully air conditioned tasting room among the Family Wineries. Papapietro Perry’s was staffed by a couple of family members, or so it seemed, educating their guests on their unique line-up of Pinot Noirs. These Pinots were more old-world style than any California Pinot we have tried.
Across the parking lot our two-wheeled tour guides had prepared a delicious lunch for our group. We enjoyed an outstanding outdoor picnic around 93 degrees P.M., along with our previously secured Sauvignon Blanc from Quivira. The nicely chilled bottle was refreshing with our selections of cheeses, meats, and fruits.
At 94 degrees P.M. we rolled back into the blacktop for our next 6 mile stint en route to Everett Ridge Vineyards and Winery, back across on West Dry Creek Road. Their driveway, or what we thought was their driveway was sufficiently steep. Reaching the peak we realized the error of our way. The good news was that we got to rest on the way back down before we proceeded up the proper incline to the winery.
Once at the winery we rehydrated as best as possible prior to our tasting. At 96 degrees P.M. we had come to realize that we needed to part company with our pedaling partners, requiring a quick 2 mile van ride back to our car so that we would not be tardy for our extraordinarily well envisioned deep tissue massage appointment back at the mansion. This was my partner’s clarity in planning. While I worked her hard on her mere idea of our radiating ride, I must here and now thank her again for her thoughtfully thorough planning at the end of this day.
A brief bite, a beer, and bed.

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