Cycle Your Way Through Virginia’s Vineyards With These Wine Tasting Bike Tours
Other than sampling a variety of palate-pleasing wines, another big reason to visit vineyards and tasting rooms is that they are often surrounded by stunning landscapes. To truly appreciate the rolling hills, mountain vistas and winding roads lined with vines, consider slowing things down a bit and leaving the car at home. This spring or summer, try a two-wheeled wine tasting trip. Several cycling companies offer bike tours that include visits to some of the commonwealth’s top wineries. Put your fast-paced life aside for a while, and book one of the following excursions. After exploring the natural beauty of your surroundings, the journey gets even more satisfying when you are rewarded for all that pedaling with pours of delightful vinos.
Velo View Bike Tours
Tour: Virginia Wine Country Bike Tour
When: The 4-day tour is offered once a year in the early fall. It’s all-inclusive (meals and lodging) and fully-supported. The next trip is Sept. 28–Oct. 2.
Where: Three daily 20–35-mile rides with up to 2,800 feet of climbing on scenic back roads in the Shenandoah Valley and near Charlottesville.
Sips: Each ride ends with a winery tour, tasting and lunch. The next trip itinerary plans stops at White Hall Vineyards in Crozet, CrossKeys Vineyards in Crawford and Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in North Garden.
Sustenance: All meals are planned and provided, including visits to many farm-to-table eateries such as Zynodoa in Staunton.
Gear: Lightweight road bikes are recommended. Rides include hills and can be a little difficult in parts; they are designed more for the spandex crowd than the leisure cruiser bike crowd. You don’t have to be a hard-core cyclist, but some level of fitness is needed. A van comes along on each ride to offer snacks, hydration, mechanical help or a lift if someone is getting tired.
Register: Call 423-824-8388 or visit VeloViewBikeTours.com/Tours/Virginia-Wine-Country.
Cville Tours Tour: Charlottesville Winery Guided Bike Tour
When: A 3-hour tour is offered mainly on weekends, from April–October, weather permitting.
Where: Routes range from 10 to 15 miles through country roads and rolling hills in Central Virginia. Guides point out landmarks, landscapes and local knowledge.
Sips: Custom itineraries are available, but favorite stops are King Family Vineyards in Crozet, Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood and Veritas Vineyards in Afton.
Sustenance: Food is not supplied, but plans include a light lunch stop.
Gear: All gear and bicycle rental is provided.
Register: Call 434-218-2416 or visit CvilleTours.com.
Bluestone Bike & Run
Tour: Shenandoah Valley Wine and Bike Tour
When: Pre-arranged trips are planned for spring and fall of 2017; call for exact dates. Custom tours are always available for large and small groups at any time.
Make contact well in advance to allow sufficient time to work out all of the logistics.
Where: Typical routes are 30 to 50 miles of rolling hills through the Shenandoah Valley west of Harrisonburg.
Sips: Tours end at Bluestone Vineyard in Bridgewater, where cyclists experience a private tasting and tour.
Sustenance: Vineyard lunch provided by Heritage Bakery and Café of Harrisonburg.
Gear: A dedicated road bike, small bag with extra clothes, water and snacks are recommended. Helmets are required. The trip leader will have a field tool kit and first aid equipment.
Register: Call 540-434-5151 or visit BluestoneBikeRun.com.