The Adventure: Bike Ride through Dry Creek Valley
I had so much fun biking and wine tasting in Alexander Valley that I just had to do it again. This time I headed a little further west to my favorite wine region in Healdsburg - Dry Creek Valley. Most people who visit wine country in Northern California come to Napa. I try to persuade them to consider places like Healdsburg instead, but I rarely win that argument. Their loss.
|Dry Creek Valley|
The northern most point of Dry Creek Valley meets Lake Sonoma - a summertime paradise for boaters. For this particular ride, park near the visitor center lot at the very entrance and then pedal back to Dry Creek Road. This ride is an out and back with the midpoint at Quivira Vineyards and Winery.
Dry Creek Road is the main drag through the valley so it gets busy. More than a few pick-ups towing their boats flew by me, making me anxious to find a back road. After a mile and a half, Yoakim Bridge Road appears to the right and I swing down the much quieter road. Yoakim Bridge leads to West Dry Creek Road. Turning left, I find small, rolling hills the remaining five miles to Quivira. The folks who live off this road surely reside in a little slice of heaven.
|Quivira Vineyards & Winery|
Heading back north on West Dry Creek, I return the way I came and pedal as fast as I can to avoid any runaway pontoon boats once I reconnect with Dry Creek Road. After a good 15 mile ride, I pack my bike in the car and start the best part of the day.
The Winery: Sbragia Family Vineyards
I. love. Sbragia. Since Ed Sbragia opened his winery in this old Lake Sonoma Winery space, I've been enamored with the wine and even more taken by the views of the valley from the tasting room patio. It's the perfect location for a bottle of wine, a picnic and a rest from a long day. They have cheese and crackers for purchase, but I'd recommend bringing most of your own picnic wares.
|Patio picnic at Sbragia|
Sbragia has recently upgraded their patio furniture and it is cozier than ever. I'm always surprised there aren't more people enjoying the day on this patio. It still remains a bit of a hidden gem, tucked away at the top of the valley.
The After Party: Bear Republic Brewery
Full disclosure - I was married at Bear Republic so it will always hold a special place in my heart. It's not the fanciest restaurant or the most exciting place to hang out, but the beer is good, the locals are fun and it's smack dab in the middle of Healdsburg's town square.
|Bear Republic Brewery in Healdsburg|
Healdsburg lays its charm on thick and quickly wins fans of those who visit. I guarantee you'll fall in love with this area and may never find yourself on Highway 29 in Napa again...
When you go
- Bike rentals are available at Wine Country Bikes in Healdsburg
- Be careful biking on Dry Creek Road. Wear a helmet, bike single file and try to stay on back roads when you can
- If you're into organic/biodynamic farming, check tour times at Quivira so you can learn a little more about their great farm
- Give yourself plenty of time to lounge the day away at Sbragia - you won't regret it!
Check out other View from the Vineyard adventures!