What do you get when you mix wine and bicycles?
Some shaky cycling! (on a bike path!)
To belatedly wrap up our Calistoga adventure I must relay our wonderful wine tasting experience in Napa Valley’s newest AVA (American Viticultural Area). As best as I remember it…
Calistoga is very small as compared to the town of Napa. I thought the best way to enjoy the wineries were via bike. And I wasn’t wrong! We stopped at the local bike shop, Calistoga Bikeshop, to inquire about their thoughts on the matter, a bike specific map, etc and was enlightened to the bike trail that runs through town. A nice, paved bike/walking trail that connects roads north and south of the main street of Calistoga. This is the recommended way to get to the wineries on either end of town rather than the way the cars go, Route 128/29, since there is no true bike lane on that road. Route 29 is narrow and people driving on that road have been wine tasting all day….
We only had one true day to go tasting and therefore could only feasibly hit up a few wineries anyway. This seemed the way to go. I grabbed a small backpack to hold my camera and small purse and we headed out on our mountain bikes. Sure enough the path was flat and paved. We passed a few families with strollers but that was it. We went about a mile south of town before we intersected with a road with three wineries.
My cousin had recommended we go to Sterling, if only because you take a ski gondola up the side of the hill to the winery. As it happened, the bike path spit us out right in front of Sterling, very convenient!
There seemed to be many cars coming and going through their grand entrance so we headed to Clos Pegase, right down the lane.
They had beautiful gardens and interior grounds, although this picture doesn’t really capture it.
We headed to the almost deserted tasting room – we had hit the wineries at a good time! – and started through their tasting menu. My original plan was to buy a bunch of wine and carry it back to my dad’s in SC and store it there. Once I realized I could have a case of wine shipped to him for a penny (from this winery, not all do this) I was sold! And once our pourer knew I was buying she kept pouring! And I kept tasting!
Where was Mike during all this? Right beside me, tasting, But as he puts it, after our pourer figured out who was in charge of buying the wine she kept my glass full and just gave him a few drops here and there for show. And when I realized I could save 20% on my case if I joined the wine club?? YES PLEASE!
So that’s the story of how we stumbled out of Clos Pegase as wine club members, a few bottles in my backpack and a case being shipped to my dad. (Presumably for safe keeping. I guess I’ll find out in a month or so…) And four bottles being shipped to my dad once a quarter.
You may be wondering, we did stop at Sterling, but the queue was so long for the ski lift we didn’t bother. Oh well!
And now I know why the shirt I bought at the cycling shop says on the back “I Spit and Cycled Through Napa Valley”. No I didn’t. I “Sipped and Cycled”. But maybe I should have spit a few times….