Healdsburg Wine Country Half Race Recap- Part 2

November 17, 2013

Missed Part 1?

Packet Pickup/Expo

The packet pickup and expo were held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel and Spa in Santa Rosa, CA.  Santa Rosa is a small town approximately 45-60 minutes northeast from Sonoma and Napa. The expo had a few vendors, but I was in and out in about 15 minutes-perks of running a smaller (approximately 2000+) race.

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Above is the technical tee we received at pickup.  The fit was nice, but I wish it was not white (I would have much preferred an inverse design-burnt orange tee and white print). 

Exploring Wine Country Continues

After I left Domaine Carneros on Thursday I made a quick stop at Bouchon Bakery in Yountviille, CA.  It was about five minutes away from the winery and I wanted to pick up some of these goodies!  The bakery is owned by a chef named Thomas Keller, and is a nice alternative if you are unable to get reservations at his famous French Laundry.  I ordered (from left to right and not consumed in one sitting) the pistachio, pb+j, and fig macarons-they were SO GOOD!

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On Friday morning I headed to Iron Horse Vineyards, for their 10am wine tasting and tour (yes 10am)!

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I drove up a curvy road to this entrance-am I in Beverly Hills?

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Despite the fog (this vineyard is approximately 12 miles from the coastline), the views were still breathtaking. 

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Iron Horse is a family owned winery  known for their sparkling wines.  Their wines have been served at the White House for quite a few State dinners.  We got to sample 4-5 different types of sparkling wines (don’t worry I did not drink the entire glass! I also had tons of water, after all I was running 13.1 miles the next day…)

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The tour and tasting was fantastic.  There was a small group (3 in total) and it felt like we had the entire property to ourselves.  Our guide was very informative and talked to us about the history of the vineyard, their wine-making process, and a tour of their facilities. 

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By the time the tour was over (approximately 1.5 hours) the fog lifted and we were treated with these views. Wine tasting prices will vary by vineyard.  If you purchased a bottle (or two or three…) at Iron Horse, your tasting fee would go towards the purchase of the wine.

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After the Iron Horse tasting I started my hour drive to Napa.  Per the recommendation of three of my friends I made reservations to visit Chappellet Winery.  The original plan was to tour on Thursday afternoon, but when my flight was delayed the kind people at Chappellet were able to switch my reservation to Friday at 1:00pm, hence the out of the way drive. As indicated on their website, there are no Chappellet signs leading to the entrance of their property.  You make a right at the below mailbox. 

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You drive up a windy and sometimes steep hill. 

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And you see this!

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This tour and tasting was also fantastic.  We started and ended in their barrel room, with a walk through their vineyards in-between.  Harvest time was over, but the “rejected” grapes were still on some of the vines.  We were allowed to taste them-they were so sweet! The wines were not that bad either, I ended up purchasing a bottle of their Chardonnay.

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Note: You will need to make reservations here well in advance and follow their driving instructions on their website.

Race day and more to come in Part 3!

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