Not at the same time, of course, but a day that involves hiking followed by wine has to be an excellent one in my opinion.
Now that Russ the Winehiker has returned from his long, and as of yet unexplained, absence, I believe it is high time that I got around to writing a review of his site!
Picture this: You are out in CA wine country doing the usual ho-hum visiting of tasting room after tasting room after tasting room. After the 20th or so visit, you have to think, there has to be more to do than just following the crowd from winery to winery. And then it dawns on you! Contact the Winehiker at California Wine Hikes to schedule a fabulous day of hiking in the gorgeous wine country, ending with a personalized trip to a winery for a tasting and tour.
Here comes the hard part! How do you choose just one of the fantastic sounding tours that Russ offers? If I were you, I'd mosey on over to the tours section of the website and start reading about all the options, from Walking the Zinfandel Trail to Elephant Seals, Fir Forests and Formal Tasting. I notice that Russ does have many pictures of each of his tours, but I think that the pictures are a major selling point, and make it hard to resist spending a day hiking around the wine country. I think that Russ should try to feature his beautiful pictures more prominently to entice people in!
The Wine Hikes website offers much information to digest, and the set-up is very easy to navigate. From helpful sidebar forms to find a hike you might enjoy to every FAQ you could possibly imagine, Russ covers it all. I do wish he had a section for reviews from former hikers, rather than just the one the changes in the sidebar, I'd love to hear what more people had to say.
When visiting California Wine Hikes, you need to be sure to stop by the other half of the site, Russ' blog, Winehiker Witiculture. I love his blog. Up until last month and his strange disappearance, Russ regularly posted at least once a day and his writing is fantastic. He's witty, descriptive, and interesting all rolled into one. I will only complain since he has been absent so long and we have not had any updates in a very long time! :)
My only regret is that on our last trip to CA wine country, Russ and Matt and I were unable to mesh our schedules so we could join him on a hike. I will be sure to make it work on our next visit to the West Coast!
Russ is running several contests on his site right now to win free wine, one of which is to write up a review of his site. For details, click here.