Sonoma was meant for leisurely bike riding from winery to winery. The key is to cruise the country roads. Rent a bike at Sonoma Valley Bike Tours and Rentals. They have a great map that paves the way to the wineries. (Pick one up for free even if you’re not renting.) The 12-mile route we recommend leaves from the square, rolls past small and large vineyards, and along oak-lined streets. First up is Gundlach Bundschu, which despite its popularity still retains a mom-and-pop charm. This is a great place to picnic with your wine: Tables are located by a small lagoon and perched up on a hill with a view of the grounds. Continue on the most scenic (and hilly) part of the ride along narrow Thornsberry Road as it winds past country homes. Buena Vista Winery is next––as the oldest winery in California its tasting room is a registered landmark. We liked their pinot and Founder’s Red blend. Those ambitious for a third stop can turn into Bartholomew Park Winery, a historic and organic operation that’s smack in the middle of a 400-acre park. After tasting, and visiting the museum, walk the trails right behind the winery. Hop back on the bike; you’re only 2 miles from the square. The fruits of your labor have never tasted so sweet!
Sonoma Valley Bike Tours and Rentals, 520 Broadway, Sonoma; 707-996-2453. Open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rentals start at $35 for the day. For the 12-mile ride described, follow the Sonoma Winery Loop detailed on the map, without going to Homewood Winery.