We love the diversity that each of our individual personalities brings to the club. Karen who wears a purple boa and rides a pink bike, Charlie who boasts raccoon tails from his handlebars, and Cynthia – the decal Queen are a few who make up our colorful group.
As a whole, we appreciate the fuel economy, small footprint, convenience and low maintenance of being a scooter owner. I’ve never heard a story from any of our members that involved calling a 24 hour towing service St Catharines ON to haul a broken-down scooter from the side of the road, – just another advantage to owning this little, versatile road warrior.
Twelve of us took off early Saturday morning this past weekend for a trip up through wine country. We wanted to stay somewhat local so opted to motor out a couple of hours north into the Sonoma Valley. We avoided the main highways and took country roads that are less traveled – which mean less traffic and more opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings.
We are a quiet club – at least our scoots are. None of us want to be noise polluters and despise the unmuffled rattatatatatat, tinny sound of a mechanical device interrupting the normally quiet countryside. With this in mind, we don’t feel like we are stepping on nature’s toes in the pristine, backcountry of rolling vineyards.
Our first stop was this charming winery located about an hour and a half from our starting point of St. Germain Park on the outskirts of town. We planned a leg-stretch about 25 miles into our trip at the Fox Hill wilderness area and then from there approximately another 20 miles to Anaba Vineyards and Winery.
The day was beautiful and the temperature hovering around 75 degrees F. We were a dusty, thirsty bunch when we arrived and in need of refreshment. Wine coolers greeted us since Peg called ahead and told the staff we were on our way. Deee Liiish Ous! The alcohol content was just around 8% – perfect for a light afternoon drink before our tour of the palatial, green, sustainably-farmed Carneros Estate.
Anaba Vineyards is the first winery in Northern California to put the wind to use in its production process. Since 2009, owner John Sweazey has utilized the power of the anabatic winds using a 45-foot Skystream 3.7 wind turbine to generate electricity for his tasting rooms, wine storage, irrigation pumps and even Anaba’s office operations. Very impressive.
Chateau St. Jean
Our next stop before ending the day at a local B&B was the Chateau St. Jean Vineyards. Here we planned a sumptuous dinner of small bites to accompany their exquisite selection of rich California wines.
Very elegant and not normally on SoCo Scooter Club’s radar, we decided to make a late afternoon visit to the 250-acre estate. Much to our pleasure they welcomed us as if we were royalty. Once again, we called ahead and the arrangements were made to make us feel right at home.
After freshening up, we toured the aging rooms and had a knowledgeable Docent give us the history and process they use to pick, distil and age their award-winning wines. The smell of the wood barrels and the underlying scent of grapes sent us into euphoria. Next, we toured the grounds which surrounded to the winery itself. Immaculately groomed, and relaxing. As we meandered closer to the main building, staff emerged from the Chateau with tasting glasses and the four prized vintages for our group to sample.
The trip ended too soon and we have all made a commitment to make the journey again next year. With all the wonderful vineyards to visit, we have years of fabulous journeys ahead.