Little Tuscany: Biking Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley
The rolling green hills, the bicycles, the wineries … if Tuscany had an American counterpart it would be found an hour and fifteen minutes north of San Francisco in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley. The mostly flat back-roads of the valley make exploring by bike easy, even for those with little or no road-biking experience. Bring your own iron horse or rent a bike from Wine Country Bikes in Healdsburg. John Mastrianni, a former competitive cyclist, has run this shop for three years and will properly fit you with a new Trek Pilot road bike or the more casual Trek Hybrid. Pedal along West Dry Creek Road, where picket fences, multiple wineries, and shady trees line both sides. Take a short detour across an old bridge where the Dry Creek General Store has all the deli fixings for a picnic lunch. Pack it in the bike cooler and decide where to enjoy the feast. Quivira Vineyards' biodynamic winery (with 200 solar panels on the roof) has a large patio that looks out to Mount Saint Helena. A few more miles down the road and set on a hill are the wine caves of Bella Vineyards. Zins are Bella’s flagship, and they taste especially fine with a picnic on the lawn under one of the big oak trees. Semplicemente bello.
For more info on this trip or other Bay Area bike rides, check out Weekend Sherpa.