Pour and Pedal Bike Tour, Ringoes, NJ: A Review

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Ah, wine — red, white, rosé, blush {yes they’re different} ice wine, port…  you name it. You may not know it, but New Jersey has some excellent wineries {if you’re willing to take a little drive} that have all of these vinos + more. Being the wine enthusiasts that we are, we recently explored Pour and Pedal Bike Tours, which offer 10-15 mile bike rides through the farmlands of NJ and through some of our state’s best wineries {and every so often GILT offers deals on Pour and Pedal Bike Tour — score}. Being that fall is the perfect season for biking and wining, we wanted to share with you what went down on our tour… besides a lot of wine.

First Stop, Unionville Yards

We arrived at Unionville Vineyards in East Amwell, NJ {about an hour and a half from the Mile Square} around 9:30AM, as instructed on our tickets, and had only a little bit of downtime while waiting for the rest of the tour group to arrive, about 16 people total. We got to pick out our bikes {relatively comfy and in fun colors like pumpkin orange} against the beautiful backdrop of farmhouses and rolling hills before we proceeded to the tasting room to begin our first stop of the tour.

Tastings

Ok, maybe we were a bit skeptical about wine tasting at 10:30 in the morning {some of us aren’t in our 20s anymore}, but the ambiance and the great experience made us quickly forget about that. We were impressed to learn that Unionville actually owns four vineyards in the East Amwell area and that their wines are classified as being on the drier side, meaning they have less of an oaky taste. Unionville itself is a winery in addition to a vineyard – the difference being that at Unionville, you can taste wine, whereas vineyards are just for grape growing.

With that in mind, we dove right into the whites and rosés. A few of our favorites: the 2014 Unionville Home Vineyard Chardonnay {very light and crisp}, the 2016 Hunterdon Mistral Rosé {a lovely salmon-colored wine that is super light and refreshing with hints of berry}, the Big O {a heavier Bordeaux-style red made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot}, and the 2015 Cool Foxy Lady Ice Wine {a perfect fruity aperitif}. Side note: we may or may not have bought bottles of a few of these for our next Netflix binge. 

The Bike Ride:

After a thorough tour at Unionville {though we may have possibly been tipsy}, we proceeded to get on our bikes and ride to our second stop, Old York Cellars. If the idea of riding a bike in an unfamiliar are after doing a little drinking makes you a bit uneasy, we’re happy to tell you that the  group often made several stops to make sure that everyone was keeping up and on the right path. All bikes were also outfitted with a large basket in front {with printed directions that outlined our route – a smart move} and was perfect for storing bags, purses, and water for hydrating. While the ride to the winery wasn’t easy, it wasn’t impossible {think a light version of spin class} — there were some large hills, and one of us may have had to walk the bike up a few of them {since some of us still aren’t in our 20s anymore} and we were definitely pretty sweaty by the time we reached our destination, so comfy clothes were a must.

Second Stop, Old York Cellars:

We arrived at Old York Cellars ready for some more wine and lunch, and were pretty impressed with the majestic views and large amount of space that it had to offer. The beautiful outdoor bar at the winery was the perfect setting for the second wine tasting.

Tasting:

We thoroughly enjoyed the 2016 Vidal Blanc {a crisp white}, the What Exit Blush {fresh and fruity}, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon {surprisingly light and yet dry at the same time}, and the 2015 Syrah {wonderfully refreshing and spicy}. Once our tasting was done, our tour group provided us with lunch {which we ordered ahead of time} in the form of sandwiches or salad, a bag of chips and some water to re-fuel. Plus we got to walk around the property and savor the fall weather.

In conclusion:

We found the ride back to be a lot easier and shorter than the ride to the winery, which was a relief after all that wine and food. Once we arrived back at Unionville, we were surprised with a Pour and Pedal water bottle, bottle opener, and free wine glass {let’s face it, swag always seals the deal}. We headed back home feeling accomplished — and successful in both a workout and new wine knowledge — not a bad way to spend a day!

 

Have you been on a Pedal and Pour bike tour? What’d you think?

 


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Lauren originally hails from Nutley, NJ but is happy and proud to have called Bayonne her hometown for the past 5 years, where she can always find a beautiful park to walk or run in and a great place to eat. Lauren has a deep appreciation for a good bar, a great glass of red wine, and good food, and often frequents Jersey City for dining, where she worked for 4 years. Now working in NYC, Lauren still gets her Jersey City fix on the weekends or after work, and then goes back to her apartment where she lives with her husband, a Bayonne native, and her awesome kitty, Lola. You can also find her at yoga class in Jersey City or Hoboken, writing, or reading {and continually running out of space for all of her books} in her spare time.