the Vineyard With Steve In
the Cellar With Dan On
the Road With Dan
ON THE ROAD WITH DAN
ON THE ROAD WITH DAN - COLEMAN ROAD LOOP
We start at Dutton Ranch, then head west on Graton Road, passing Rued Vineyard on the right. We start climbing for a few miles before going over the ridge and turning left on Bohemian Highway to the scenic little town of Occidental—highlight: West Pole Cafe, owned by the mythic Tom "Snappy" Gonnella. The cafe is the reincarnation of Gianni Bike Shop, which Tom tore down to build a restaurant because the bike shop didn't lose enough money— next thing you know he'll be building a winery!
Make the right up Coleman Valley Road and immediately start climbing (hill #2 of 6) out of town to great views to the north and east of all of western Sonoma County, Mt. St. Helena and the Santa Rosa Plain. We head into the redwoods and get a sinuous downhill before we start the next steep ascent of the coastal ridge. This is a good place to have a friend next to you to take your mind off the climb, or to have a good version of Terrapin Station playing on the MP3.
At the Coast Highway we hang a left and spend just a few miles along the water, then head back into the hills on Bay Hill Road, another steep but not too long climb, Bodega Bay directly behind you, pasture ahead, and huge Eucalyptus lining the road. We crest over the top of Bay Hill to another killer descent back down to Rt. 1—awesome downhill, but too many potholes to really let loose. Left onto 1, then another left back inland on Bodega Highway in just a mile or so.
We now roll through the picturesque town of Bodega and the open coastal hills in the Petaluma Wind Gap. If we went straight it would be a fairly flat ride all the way back to Sebastopol—Freestone Hill Vineyard is just about 2 miles up—but we don't want that, so just past Bodega we hang a left on the lightly traveled Joy Road (whoever named it Joy was going the other way) and start climbing again.
Now we get back into vineyard land, and views to the east. We crest Occidental Road, descend a bit, peel off on Cherry Ridge Road, and do a beautiful big ring climb up to Grand View Road (on the corner is the new Dutton-Goldfield Syrah vineyard), descend down past Galante Vineyard on the left, then dead end at Mill Station Road. Make a left, cross Occidental again, and continue up to Graton Road. A left will bring us back to Dutton Ranch in under a mile, beat and ready for a few beers.