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Travelzoo Experience: Wine Tasting by Bike in Napa Valley

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

From Sacramento to Santa Cruz, there are thousands of vineyards in northern California producing some of the world’s best wines. I have learned so much about wine ever since I moved to San Francisco from New York, from how wine is made to how to properly taste. Recently my boyfriend and I booked a Travelzoo Getaway deal in Napa County's Calistoga at a property that is within biking distance to several wineries we wanted to try.  

I highly recommend biking around to wineries versus driving -- not only do you reduce the risk of accidents on the road, but you also take in the beautiful scenery while getting some exercise.  

Here are some tips for wine tasting by bike:

  • Before planning a winery tour by bike, do some research about which wineries are close by to where you are staying.
  • Talk to the hotel staff about your plans and see if they have any suggestions. They are probably well versed in people making the trek and might have favorite wineries to suggest or know of ones that have particularly pretty routes.
  • Make sure your phone has a GPS or get a good map, preferably waterproof.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that still look nice when you’re not on the bike.
  • A good number to visit on one day, we've found, is about three or four.
  • Confirm before leaving if the winery requires an tasting appointment or if walk-ins are welcome.
  • Plan your route on the GPS or map with less trafficked roads that have a bike lane -- it might take longer to avoid main roads but the scenery of bright sky and vineyards will be worth it.
  • Bring a full water bottle and refill it at every winery stop. Tasting wine, bike riding and windy conditions can lead to dehydration -- so make sure to drink lots of water too!
  • Wine tastings usually cost about $10-$20 per person, however most wineries will waive the tasting fee with purchase of a bottle and, most wineries will allow you to leave the wine there to be picked up later on so you can enjoy the rest of the day by bike.

Purchasing wine is highly recommended! Whether you give the bottle away as a personalized gift or you open the bottle later at dinner, you will have wonderful memories of the wine and be reminded of your visit to the beautiful vineyards of California.

Find Napa Valley deals and plan your own trip with help from our California's Wine Regions Featured Destination page.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, San Francisco
Friday, February 1, 2013
See more Tips from
Megan Edelman