What a wonderful time! Frieda picked us up on time (even accommodated our delayed arrival) and showed us the best, personalized wine trip ever! We visited three wineries (Hook & Ladder, Russian Hill and Sunce) - at each location, Frieda and our group was warmly welcomed and given very special treatment. One winery even invited us back to the barrels to taste! This was the most unique and personal experience wine tasting (and let's just say that I've had lots of experience!)!!!
Frieda, our tour leader, was a delightful guide, energetic, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. She was well known by the wineries, and we received substantial discounts on the wine we bought. Her bikes were in excellent condition and well-suited to the trip. The route was very pleasant, starting on a dedicated bike/walk path along a stream, and then heading into the vineyards in Sonoma. We visited two wineries, where we tasted excellent wines and had some great conversations with the employees. We preferred the wines at Pelligrini over those at Hook & Ladder, but tastes may differ. The tour started at 10:30 am and lasted four hours, as advertised. Since there wasn't a lunch stop, we wished we had heeded Frieda's advice about bringing some snacks.
What can we say, it's tough to imagine the combo of bicycles + wine tasting + Sonoma vineyards going wrong, but we also didn't imagine it going this RIGHT. Frieda is very knowledgeable about the vineyards and local wineries and was extremely accommodating to all our interests and needs. She is a nurse by night and a guide by day --- doesn't get much more awesome than that. We recommend packing snacks and water, but if you forget (as we did), there's an incredible cheese plate to be eaten at one of the wineries. :-)
It was such a great Saturday adventure! Frieda is a fabulous guide – a perfect mix of field informant and friend. She ensured that we had everything we needed including comfortable adjusted bikes, helmets, and cases on our bikes for snacks and wine transporting. Our cycling adventure took us past the Russian River, along a beautiful bike route filled with lush greenery and vineyard linings. The tastings were a wonderful experience; I found myself in the comfort of friends with the attention of excellent wine guides to answer all of my silly questions. By the end, we were creating our own wine descriptors off the beaten path. I’d say that the experience was a mix of “fruit and family forward!”
Up for having the best day of your life? Done. We left San Francisco at the aggressive hour of 8:30am on a Saturday and headed to Santa Rosa. We found Frieda with her flashy pink t-shirt and three cute bikes with fancy leather wine holders in the back. After passing beautiful vineyards, architecture ruins, and creeks and finally arrived at a gorgeous hidden Vineyard where Frieda seemed to know everyone. Three vineyards, one cheese plate and countless glasses of pinots, chardoneys, and malbecs later we did some yoga in the winery garden, hopped back on the horse (or what appeared like a horse after all the wine) and biked another 9 miles back to town. Frieda was hilarious, knowledgeable and a total joy. She is a rockstar guide and makes me never want to bike anywhere without her!