It had been years since I had ridden any bike other than a stationary one at the gym. So it was no surprise that when I hopped on a bike at Napa Valley Bike Tours, I wobbled down the road like a toddler learning to ride without training wheels. But before long, it all came back and I was cycling by pastoral landscapes of rolling green hills and brown root-shaped vines protruding from the earth, reminding me of Tuscany.
There’s no better way to experience the Napa Valley than biking along the country roads and trails, exploring several of the more than 40 wineries near Yountville, with plenty of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc to sip at each stop.
The light rain that fell that March morning was a welcome reprieve from the harsh Canadian winter I left behind. The occasional cow or chicken sounds were the only interruptions to my cycling reverie.
Our bike tour passed by many local vineyards, including one owned by Tamber Bey, a winery where I had tasted five delicious wines earlier in my trip at the Sundance Ranch in Calistoga. I remembered the wine and cookie pairing and how a peppered bacon and sea salt biscuit brought out the flavour of the Cabernet Sauvignon. But there would be no stopping at the vineyard today for tasty treats.
The ride was leisurely, with a few stops to admire the views and learn about the vine-to-wine process from our tour guide. As California was in the midst of one of the worst droughts ever, our guide discussed the drought's impact on the area before we returned to town.
If you're interested in biking near Yountville, Napa Valley Bike Tours offers guided trips, as well as bike rentals and self-guided tours for those who prefer trekking on their own.