POPE VALLEY REVISITED

Thursday’s mission is to do some Beemer riding and finish at Pope Valley Winery for a tasting and purchase of some of the best wine around.

First part of the day will be to visit Chateau Montellena then a run through the “bendies” on the way up to Middletown, a quick drink at Noble’s Bar, maybe lunch, then down the Pope Valley road to the winery.

The Chateau is indeed a very beautiful place with gorgeous gardens including a lake by the parking area.

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By the car park the gorgeous lake in the grounds

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Quite a building

Some late harvest grapes are coming in and being offered to the picking machine and after watching the process we wander into the tasting room of this impressive building and sample some of their wares.

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Fully mechanized

Now for the bendies and these are just as tricky as the last time and they certainly give you a very good cornering workout unless you are a local and know the road! Caution is the “word” as these come one after another with varying degrees of camber, for and against, most are blind, and many have variable radii so to get them right you would need an awful lot of practice….. and then add to that they are in the woods with a lot of dappling sunshine creating strange effects but however you choose to ride them they are FUN !!

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Brenda was a bit out of practice to photograph the tight ones!

Bends complete and the stop at Noble’s for a drink and Brenda wants a new t-shirt. We get the drink but they are out of shirts. Across the road to the Brewery and a surprisingly good beer! so we stay for lunch which is equally surprising? ¬†We thought it would be poor but what arrived was fantastic and needed yet another beer to complete the morning’s fun.

Refuel and down the Pope Valley road which seemed to have a lot more vineyards than I remember from our previous visit. More bends but a lot easier to negotiate.

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Not quite so blind and higher speed

Arrive at the vineyard and pull up to the tasting room. the place is still as rustic as ever and although their “standing” in the wine community has gone up in leaps and bounds they are still maintaining that undiscovered feel.

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Still has that rustic feel

The wines are good and the port is outstanding! Some time later after sampling their wares and joining their wine club the case is squeezed on board the Beemer and we set off up another bendy road back to Calistoga ……… GREAT DAY!

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A full case of wine goes in the trunk and the Beemer is being transformed into a wine Tanker

TONY DOWN

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