Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Giro d' Vino 2013

Giro d' Vino 2013 wine drinker sclupture
Last weeks Foxy's Fall century registration opened at 7:30, exactly when we arrived. The parking lot in Davis was already full and we had to park a long way away.
The Giro d' Vino registration also opened at 7:30. We arrived at 7:35 and we almost the first people there. That must mean something, but I can't figure out what.

The first winery was not supposed to open until 9 am, but we got tired of waiting to start. I'd already bought a Williams Wheels shirt and socks and tried to convince the guy in the booth that Garmin 800 in his box of "Stuff we had laying around I'm trying to get rid of" was only worth 5-10 bucks. He wasn't having any of that, so Tricia and I launched, all alone in the cold morning. It was nice riding without a big crowd at the start.

Much to our delight, the first Winery, Macchia, was open at 8:30, and happy to pour. We tasted, sipped, chatted and bought tasty wine. The Giro has a wonderful system where they pick up any wine you buy and deliver it to the ride finish. A wonderful system it is!

That was only the first of 14 wineries on the route. Tricia had announced before the ride that we would be stopping at every one of them, even if we didn't taste or buy, we'd at minimum, make a photo. I loved her plan, and that's what we did. I don't think that we ever rode more then five or six miles without stopping all day long.

Giro d' Vino 2013 Heritage Oak pouring2

We'd been on this ride several times before, but I don't think we'd ever stopped at Heritage Oak before. So we stopped. And tasted. And bought some wine.

Giro d' Vino 2013 pipe organ

Giro d' Vino 2013 Pipe dreamsHarmony Wynlands and Harney are almost across from each other, so we stopped at both of them too. Harmony's tasting room is actually a large pipe organ, and this year it was being played a rock-concert volume while we were there. It was amazing. They have a "Pipe Dreams" old vine zinfandel that I've tasted every year and loved, but not purchased. I love the silk screened label too. This year the grapes and bottle conspired and I ended up buying one. I know I won't want to open it, even though the contents are heavenly. And as if it wasn't enough they had great wine, they also had chairs both Tricia and I loved. They were so so comfortable I didn't want to get up. When we realized they were made from old wine barrels we loved them even more. Then we saw the prices. If I had a chair like that it would belong on the patio, but there's no way I could leave a pricy object like that outside.

Giro d' Vino 2013 Tricia with Chairs

From there it was off to d'Art where we tasted, chatted and bought again. They were busy making wine too, and we watched them transfer wine-to-be to the de-steming and skin-removing tanks (not an actual technical term...) It sure smelled wonderful. I very much wanted to taste their raw cabernet juice, but didn't have the nerve to ask.

Giro d' Vino 2013 d'Art

I was still waiting for the day to warm up when, instead, the wind kicked in. I heard a lot of riders complaining, but we didn't find it nearly as bad as it was a few years ago. Still, the up-wind sections were not as much fun as they might have been with the breeze. But, heck, there were no climbs. Tricia likes to make a big deal out of the "Climb of the day" which is a freeway overpass at Highway 99. So, a little wind, with frequent refreshment stops? Not so bad.

Giro d' Vino 2013 Tricia at Ripkin

Giro d' Vino 2013 ricia in vinyard

After a stop at Borra we had lunch at Michael David (where we bought a case of "Seven Deadly Zins" on an incredible sale) we rolled off to Ripkin where we bought yet another bottle before we were off, first to Jesse's Grove and then upwind, to Oak Farm.

Giro d' Vino 2013 horses

Giro d' Vino 2013 Oak Farm

After that we had a minor adventure when we missed a turn. It was actually kind of fun as Tricia settled into a long powerful pull that lasted for miles, until we figured out we weren't ever going to see another turn arrow and found our way back.

One of the great parts of this ride is talking to people, like the girls (they seem like girls because of the giggles and such, but I guess technically they are women) with bread strapped to their packs.

Giro d' Vino 2013 bread girls

We enjoyed several great outfits we saw on the road, including a retro-cool wool jersey, made in Portland (I want one) and some cool socks.

Giro d' Vino 2013 Stockton Bicycle Club

Giro d' Vino 2013 socks

We even ran into our BikeForums.net friend BritPower and made new friends Cycles Gladiator where we bought a bicycle teamed bottle of Bone Shaker Zin.

Giro d' Vino 2013 Tricia and BritPower

Some cyclists can't understand why we'd pay money to ride 50 miles and stop so often. They just don't get that this isn't a bike ride, it's a wine tasting with bicycles. In the end we spend all day to go not very far, spend too much on wine and have a blast.

Giro d' Vino 2013 Heritage Oak drinking

Summary: Fourteen wineries, 53 miles, 7 hours and change, and a car load of vino.

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