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Press Tour 1 was amazing! The subject of this post was our very first pattern. More to come, and we invite you to send yours in – however long or short. I don’t want a whole lifetime sequence tho, yawl. Mine might even have some combos / lack prepositions. Bikesleep, for instance, has never actually happened, but winebike certainly has.
Our first stop was at Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyard, where we were given a private tour. Cindy Friedman, Consumer Marketing Manager and all-around go-to guru, treated us like Kings, and the rest of the staff followed lead. Celosia Mae Arcadia, Retail Saleswoman and Wine Educator, was a gorgeous help: I mentioned that I couldn’t find my bungee cords at 5AM and she rounded some up for me! The trip would have been a lot harder otherwise. Thank you, Celosia! Thank you everyone at Gloira Ferrer!
From there we rode over to MacArthur Place, a 64 Room luxury hotel and spa tucked away just South of the city of Sonoma. We tried to take advantage before giving in to the luxury of bath and bedding, and managed to get some video in. The grounds were lovely, the staff was very accommodating, and the food was excellent. My only regret about MacArthur Place was that we were too tired to enjoy all its amenities. Isn’t that really the best part of a good vacation, though? There are so many great things to do you just can’t do them all. Reminder: feel this way in your own city! It’s amazing out there!
In the morning we woke and biked about 8 miles on over to Domaine Carneros. This place is massive, stately, and a bit elite. The entire grounds were manicured as though every bush produced grapes (they didn’t, and this set them apart). I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The tour of their large faux chateau was public and therefore less intimate, but just as informative. It was here that I plucked my first grape! Thanks, Domaine!
After about 2.5 more miles of biking we scaled the large hill leading up to Artesa, a winery just as impressive for its architecture and artwork as for its plentiful wines. Because we got there later in the afternoon we did not take the tour – only tried the samples of their reserve wines (poor us!). Not a disagreeable fellow in the lot. Not to fear, though: we went back Sunday morning for a full vineyard tour.
Leaving Artesa, Ben and I were in extremely high spirits. First of all, the view is breathtaking, and we were coming down from the mountain, so to speak. And going down a mountain on your bike is a lot more fun than going up. But our spirits did not dampen. When we got to The Carneros Inn, a Plumpjack Resort just down the street, we pretty much lost all grip on reality. After we checked in, one of the probably five employees who greeted us led the way in his golf cart. Ben and I shared a smile. The employee was holding a glass of red I was given at check-in. It was an accurate sign of things to come.
We partied Saturday night. There are no pictures of this, sorry. Except for the ones with the fire. We didn’t start it, the resort did!
In the morning we did not want to leave. Bike and Wine seemed like a much better idea on Friday and Saturday than it did on Sunday morning, let me tell you. We faced the prospect of missing the last Vallejo ferry, which left at 5:45. Vallejo was about 20 miles away and we still had to see two wineries! Fortunately, after a stellar, extremely pleasant vineyard tour, we found no one at Etude, which was our last destination. I say fortunately only because had we not left immediately after Artesa we would most surely have missed the ferry. That would have forced us either to bike home (about 70 more miles) or stay the night in Vallejo and pay for a motel — after staying at MacArthur Place and The Carneros Inn with compliments!
As it was, we made it to the ferry terminal with an hour to spare, and looked out on the bay with a couple of oyster shots, beers, and snacks. Our stats for the weekend are as follows: 105 total miles, 12 mph. My top speed was 32.5 mph, in case you’re curious. Oh, and like 3 popped tubes!
Everyone was so gracious and kind. Thank you each and all for making my first press tour absolutely incredible. Hope to see you soon!
PS: I’ve given each of our destinations it’s own page, so to check them out in more detail click on the appropriate name to the right.
First Bike and Wine Video! HWY 37 @ Sonoma line.
Bike and Film, Take 1:
Bike and Film, Take 2: