Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ralph's Champagne Tour

Every year, about this time, I lead a group of motorcycle-buddies on a tour of local wineries out on the east end of Long Island.  It's beautiful rural country out there, with large farms and over a dozen wineries.

I ride my motorcycle year-round but most bikers put their machines away for winter.  "Ralph's Champagne Tour" has two purposes: first, to lure my friends into a day of riding (which is usually their last of the year) and, second, to buy a bevy of bottles of delicious local wine, port and Champagne.

As a "locavore," I appreciate local foods.  The wines available at these vineyards are exceptional in quality and not available elsewhere.  With the exception of the largest vineyard (Pindar), these wines aren't distributed through stores so you have to go directly to the winery to get them.

In addition to the care the winemakers put into crafting their products, they also experiment in delightful ways.  There is a blueberry port that knocks your socks off with its intense fruity flavor and pleasing aroma.  This year, I got some boysenberry fruit wine to give as gifts and expect it to be a big hit among recipients.

Finally, it's nice to have company on the road.  Most of my riding is by myself and I enjoy the comraderie of like-minded souls with whom I can share laughs and motorcycle-talk.  That, and terrific weather, made for a super day.

I'm using a borrowed computer (a Mac) which I don't know how to operate, so the pictures below aren't cropped or edited the way I normally like.  I'm happy simply to be able to post them.

What did you do this weekend?


  1. I love wineries. There are a couple near where I live, and I always like going out to visit in Autumn. One makes a huckleberry wine I love, but blueberry port sounds amazing!

  2. Fun!! And beautiful. I have never found a wine I like. :/

    And I'm jealous. I pretty much worked all weekend, including a graveyard shift.

  3. Fun :) I've always wanted to go wine taste testing even though I have hated every wine I've tasted, ha.

    By the way, I saw a pink lipstick from your friend Doe Deere's line in this week's Life & Style. I love when I recognize new things I've learned about :) Congrats to her on all her success, right?!

  4. I've never been to a winerie but alwasy wanted to go. Hope you had a wonderfull day and a lot of fun with your friends!

  5. Blueberry port! Oh my! Is that a dessert wine? We call those lucious kinds of fruit wines stickies (as in they're sticky) and drink them with dessert. What kind of bike do you ride? It looks very comfortable.

  6. It was such a great weekend to be out on two wheels. The weather was perfect! Glad you made it out east for some good riding, good wine, food and company.

    Martha Clara has some of the most adorable shaggy cows next door. They make me smile every time I pass by :)

    If you ever happen to do a eastern farmstand homemade pie tour... please count me in!

  7. Bri, if you tried some of the offerings available here, you'd like them. And, yes, it's really fun to see a friend succeed in life.

    Baxter: yes, it's a dessert wine. I prefer sweet wines like port. I have two motorcycles: the one pictured is a big touring bike (BMW K1200LT). It's very comfortable and designed for long-distance riding (which is why I got it because I do that).

    Yup, Fuzzy, you had the same weather I did -- 65 degrees! Lovely for this time of year. We stopped at Martha Clara (where I bought some wine named "Five-O" for friends who are retired cops) and saw the cows. I'm always looking for animals. A pie tour sounds like a great idea!

  8. Oooh ! I love a good winery ! Looks like you and your friends had a Great time. It is good to get out and live.

  9. Wow this sounds like so much fun, even though I am not much of a bike fan. Mostly because there is a group of bikers that make my life miserable every tuesday, the ride their bikes around my building and their main goal is to activate the car alarms !
    I had no idea there were wineries in NY, well you have enlightened me today!
    Oh, and I am replying to you comment on my NY post, I'll be there next year as I have family in Rye and a brother in Mt Kisco (he's a chef) so hopefully we can meet for coffee.

  10. What a perfect sounding day ... we haven't been on a ride in about two months and I do miss it so much.

    G-man has a BMW 1200GS Adventure and although I love riding with him, we don't always have sitters for the little people.

    We are looking at doing a ride in the US in the not too distant future. Since my ex lives in TX we are considering going over when the children go and heading off to California to do a ride - or possibly Route 66 or some such ride.