Leaving the majestic giants of northern California behind us, we were heading to more scientific ventures of our trip – yes, wine sampling was next on our itinerary. While Napa is probably the most famous wine growing region in the USA, it is also said to be a little pretentious and a little overpriced compared to Sonoma.
We moved away from the coastal route, Highway 101 and 1, that we had been riding for the last few days and ventured inland. Most noticeable was the sudden temperature change and the sudden emergence of the sun! Traveling the interesting windy Highway 125 into Sonoma was definitely a highlight!
We stayed at a hotel a few blocks away from the city center of Sonoma, which was highly recommended on TripAdviser. Considering the room rate, we were expecting a hint of luxury, but when we entered the room we had a sobering experience. It seemed the price is rather reflecting the location that the quality of the room. Anyway, Team Berg was not holding back on the sampling mission, so off we went to the wine bar across the road. We were surprised how packed the place was just to find out that the local gay community was hosting their monthly GayDar event. Needless to say, it didn’t take long until we met a lot of new people, were invited for cake and wine sampling. It was just a wonderful way to enjoy our first day in Sonoma!
The next day we booked ourselves into self guided bicycle tour of a few tasting rooms close to the Sonoma town center. It was so strange riding a bicycle after riding motorbikes. First the stability of a bike on shoddy roads was next to none, the braking power was shocking, and the lack of signalling and mirrors was just dangerous. But we continued on in typical Team Berg fashion – over confident and under prepared. With no sunscreen or water on a hot humid day, we didn’t get very fair after each tasting but at least it made the down hill ride down from one vineyard eventful.
Leaving Sonoma was hard, the warm weather (35 degrees in the shade), the gorgeous town centre, the wonderful community and the delicious wine but we were very excited about our next destination – San Francisco and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge!