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Motorcycles and Wine




Motorcycling to Chester Hill
Motorcycling and summer go hand in hand - riding down the road on an environmentally sound vehicle, enjoying the trees and sights and sounds and smells in the most first-hand way possible, besides a bike or walking. It seems only natural that vineyard trips would be a perfect match for the motorcycling experience.


We love taking the motorcycle out to wineries within a day or two of our house. Instead of being cooped up in a car, shut off from the scenery and landscapes that scroll past your window, in a motorcycle you're open to the air, stopping every hour or so to talk to the people and hike through the forests or plains or whatever is in the area. At the destination, you continue that trend, walking back through the vineyards, perhaps sampling a grape from the vine, and breathing in the richness of the proto-wine.

The most important aspect of visiting wineries on a motorcycle is, of course, safety. You need to plan your trip so you are never driving under the influence of alcohol. It takes the average person an hour to metabolize a glass of wine, and this cannot be sped up by showers, running around, or any of the other typical urban myths. At a tasting you are normally served under a glass of each wine, but as you are served many wines at the typical tasting, be sure to count up your total consumption and plan properly.

If you are visiting a larger winery you could stay for dinner afterwards, or even pack a picnic lunch and eat it there while you wait for the wine to 'settle'. Most wineries have picnic areas nearby or do not mind you eating on the grass by their vineyards. If there are two or three wineries in an area, you could even camp out nearby or grab a motel.

Another consideration when motorcycling to vineyards is bringing wine home. Our Concours has two hard side bags as well as a back 'trunk', so we have room for about a case of wine. Massachusetts has really harsh wine shipping laws, so we can't have wine shipped back to us in most circumstances. Find out what the Shipping Laws are in your area, to see if the wine can simply be sent back to your house.

If not, find some way to stick a few bottles onto the motorcycle. Don't worry about the shaking of the bottles - wine gets shook whenever it's shipped from anywhere to anywhere. Just let the wine sit for two weeks when you get it home, on its side of course, so that the wine settles back down. After that it should be perfectly fine to drink.

Sometimes on a motorcycle you need to be inventive. While visiting the Cape Cod Winery one time, they gave me a Merlot vine clipping. I had to stick the clipping inside my leather jacket to get it home! It survived the trip quite nicely, and is now in its second year.


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