September is California Wine Month, and what better way to celebrate than with a leisurely bike ride through some of Sonoma’s best wineries.
And if you’re a pinot noir drinker, The Lodge at Sonoma, an Autograph Collection hotel, has already mapped out the perfect route for your ride. The Sonoma hotel’s Pedal for Pinot map includes stops at more than a half-dozen wineries located within a mile of the property. Plus, you don’t have to worry about bringing your bike. The Lodge at Sonoma has a fleet of $599 Priority Coast bikes that it loans to guests.
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And you may want to take the hotel up on its offer. Sonoma County covers a whopping 1,700 square miles — an area bigger than the state of Rhode Island — and is home to hundreds of wineries. It’s known for being more laid-back than its neighbor, Napa Valley, and for making more pinot noir than anywhere else in California.
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Pinot noir grapes can be notoriously difficult to grow, but they flourish in Northern California, thanks to the area’s relatively cool climate, wind, and fog. Several Sonoma wineries, including the boutique Sojourn Cellars — a stop on the hotel’s Pedal for Pinot route — are well known for their pinot noirs. Other wineries on the map include Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, and the Buena Vista Winery.
And there’s no need to remember your favorites — just jot them down on your illustrated keepsake map.
If two wheels aren’t your style, consider a ride on the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley, a replica of an iconic San Francisco cable car and unique way to experience this region of rolling hills and expansive vineyards.
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To sample some of the area’s top wines without venturing off property, consider daily wine hours held between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.