Sandra and Allen are enjoying a very long weekend over the 4th of July holiday. We're actually off a total of five days so there is plenty of time to work in chores, long walks, hiking, motorcycle rides and fireworks. Today was an excellent day to hike and ride - and since we were hiking along the Appalachian trail at the G.R. Thompson State Wilderness Management Area, why not visit a few wineries and work some wine tasting into the ride too?
We started the ride off by taking the back roads through Clifton, ending up in Manassas on Sudley Road. We ate breakfast at Denny's (service and food was much better than Bob Evans from last weekend) and then went north to Route 29, taking that west to Route 55 at Gainsville. Now the fun began as we rode along Route 55 all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains, turning north on Route 638 to get our first wine tasting at the Fox Meadow Winery. A bit further up the road was our trail head and we did a short hike (just over one mile actually - Allen isn't into long hikes but Sandra just did a 12.5 mile walk yesterday) which meant we had time for another winery.
It just so happened that we had a Living Social deal for the Veramar Vineyard - about an hour away heading over to Berryville. So we went back down Route 638 to Route 55, headed east to Route 688, turned north there to get Route 17 north and that took us to Route 50 where we turned west again. Here's the best part (except for the wine tasting of course) - we headed north again on the Blue Ridge Mountain Road, the same beautiful road we did last weekend. When we got to Route 7, we turned west and took that to Route 612; the Veramar Vineyard is just a mile south on that road. We got a personalized tour for just the two of us and along with our other wine purchase at Fox Meadow Winery, we ended up with four bottles of wine stashed into the two saddle bags. Of course you can't just drink wine and get back on the bike so we had some cheese, salami and a baguette to eat while listening to some music on their rear deck.
Overall it was nice ride up and it only took about two hours to get back home. We came back down Route 7 and then headed south on Snickerville Turnpike to Route 50, where we turned east again and then it was Pleasant Valley Drive over to Route 29 and well - we had to stop at a Starbucks of course to enjoy some coffee too. Once home, Sandra had time to get some more walking in before it was dark.