Sunday, October 11, 2009

No Sno ma County

We are spending a couple of weeks in Sonoma County enjoying the warm fall weather that seems to be eluding some of our Class of 07 mates. We have been rewarded with warm sunny days and cool nights. One reason we wanted to stay in the area was to visit with Erin Jones the son of our friend Tim who I worked with and who is a member of our old card club. In 1985 our friends Tom and Georgie Ridge along with Tim and Erin travelled to Europe for a bicycling adventure. It was quite an experience for all of us especially Erin who celebrated his thirteenth birthday on the ferry while crossing the North Sea. On our first weekend here Erin rode a different bike to Santa Rosa and we had a great afternoon catching up on what has been going on in his life and also with all our mutual friends. We are planning to go into San Francisco next week so Erin can show us around the city. Once again getting to spend time with a friend while on the road is an advantage of fulltiming.

We drove through the countryside vineyards and visited a couple of wineries to do tastings. At D'Argenzio Winery we enjoyed several great wines and the friendly conversation with winemaker Ray and his parents who were originally from Pennsylvania. This is a small operation that doesn't have a vineyard but buys all its grapes from the local growers. We were the only customers and not only got a personal tasting but also a tour from the owner. We purchased a bottle of his double gold medal winning pinot noir. Another day we went to Kendall-Jackson a large company that owns over 14,000 acres of land and produces thousands of cases a year. The tasting room is in a large house surrounded by vineyards and a garden. While this is a bigger operation the tasting was still very nice with our server Chad explaining the differences and unique qualities of each wine.

We have a goal to ride our bikes more this year and since we have not ridden since we were on the Olympic Peninsula we took a bicycle ride on the Joe Rodota Rail to Trail. We have found most places in the west to be very bike friendly with many trails and well marked lanes on the city streets.

Erin and his "bike" which is a little different then the one he rode in Europe 24 years ago.
A unique bottle wall outside D'Argenzio Fine Wines.
Winemaker Ray showing Nanc the grapes he is preparing for fermentation.
Nanc enjoying a tasty white wine.
Some of the large variety of grapes growing at Kendall-Jackson.
Riding on the Joe Rodota Trail in the afternoon sunshine.

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