Autumn Healdsburg Wine Country Ramble

Saturday, November 8, 2014

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This colorful scenic autumn ride meanders around Sonoma County’s beautiful wine regions from Healdsburg to Windsor and Geyserville to Cloverdale. The route goes around the gorgeous appellations along the Russian River Valley and Chalk Hill to Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley. It includes a wonderful climb up the south side of Chalk Hill and concludes with a magnificent roll through the vineyards and wineries along West Dry Creek Rd. The undulating roads highlight the fertile hillsides and valleys of this picture-perfect countryside.

The public parking lot at W Matheson & Vine St holds the Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9AM to Noon.

We begin the ride from W North & Vine St in Healdsburg.

Vine and Mill St leads us out of town across the Dry Creek Bridge to Westside Rd.

Westside Rd runs 9.3 miles on flat to rolling terrain through the many gorgeous wineries and Chardonnay vineyards situated around the wine growing region of Russian River Valley.

The rolling terrain takes us through the Sweetwater Springs Historic District.

Autumn is the perfect time to experience the glory of riding through the vineyards and inhaling the fresh, cool crisp morning air. The temperatures are mild and the colorful fall hues of yellows, oranges and reds increases the natural beauty of this scenic landscape. DSCN3544-2 DSCN3527-2 DSCN3563-2 The short climb on Westside takes us up and over the valley towards Eastside.

Wohler Bridge takes us across the Russian River to the sprawling vineyards along Eastside Rd. DSCN3633-2

We continue east into the town of Windsor on Mark West Station and Windsor Rd. These back roads leads us pass apple orchards, horse ranches and sheep farms towards the Sonoma County Airport.

Shiloh Rd runs along the southern edge of Windsor from the Windsor Golf Club out to Shiloh Ranch Regional Park.

Faught Rd is a single narrow lane road with spectacular valley views of the vineyards and the surrounding hillsides.

We continue north on Chalk Hill Rd for the next 8.1 miles on gentle rolling terrain.

The road leads us to the short 6-9% climb up the south side to the summit.  

The descent drops us down into the valley pass the horse and cattle ranches.

The road tilts up for another short climb on Chalk Hill to the Historic Chalk Hill Grange.

Chalk Hill is a smaller appellation within the Russian River Valley wine region. The hillsides and valley floor are lined with acres and acres of fruitful Pinot Noir and mountain Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from Verite and Lancaster Wineries.

Chalk Hill Rd leads us out to CA-128 W into the next wine region-Alexander Valley. The rolling terrain takes us through more beautiful wineries and vineyards along this valley floor.

We continue on CA-128 W to our lunch stop at the Jimtown Store.

We reverse our way out on CA-128 E and meander through the beautiful vineyards on Pine Flat Rd to Red Winery Rd and Geyesrs Rd. DSCN3889-2

alexander valley

alexander valley

CA-128 W meanders through the lush and stunning Alexander Valley with its fabulous mountain views and rich Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Other varieties include Chardonnay, Zinfandels, Merlots and Sauvignon Blanc.

CA-128 W/Geyserville Ave continues across the Russian River through the town of Geyserville.

The road runs parallel to US-101 and borders the wine region along Alexander Valley with glorious views of the mountains and vineyards.

The road becomes Asti Rd at the intersection with Zanzi Ln. The rolling climbs on Asti continue to parallel US-101 for the next 4.5 along the wineries and vineyards around Alexander Valley.

The Hwy 101 overpass on Santana Dr takes us to our stop at the Cloverdale Starbucks on Cloverdale Blvd.

We exit Cloverdale and continue on Dutcher Creek Rd for the next 5.2 miles; the rolling climbs along Dry Creek Valley have gradient ranges of 6-8% with steeper pitches of 10%.

The descent on Dutcher Creek Rd leads into Dry Creek Valley with magnificent views of the valley vineyards!

We continue south along the Dry Creek Rd; the autumn hues of the grapevines are spectacular!

From Yoakim Bridge Rd, we cross over Dry Creek to W Dry Creek Rd.

The flat to gentle rolling terrain for the next 8.8 miles takes us through the vibrant Dry Creek Valley rich with red wine varieties; Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.  The wonderful new smooth pavement on W Dry Creek Rd is a joy to ride on!

Westside and Mill Rd takes us back on Vine St in Healdsburg.

This is one of the most beautiful rides in Northern California-plan an autumn day trip and enjoy the scenic back roads through Sonoma County’s wine country and nature’s vibrant display of fall colors!

Garmin Stats:
65.63 Miles with 2635′ of elevation gain

Max elevation: 519′
Max grade: 10%
Terrain: Rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Sunny and warm with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the high 70’s. NW Winds with 64% humidity

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:


    A new bucket ride (as soon as I get out there).

    Thanks Jeff-Autumn is a great time to do the ride or any other time actually, it’s always
    beautiful out in Sonoma County. Nancy


  2. Nancy, Great pictures to describe a wonderful ride. But wasn’t the temperature somewhat higher than 60 degrees?

    You’re absolutely right! Glad to make the corrections. Nancy


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