New program highlights growth of cycling wine tours

A Napa Valley wine region has become the first in the United States to offer official tours by bicycle, in a move transportation officials hope will boost awareness of the industry and the environment.

Visitors to the renowned Stags Leap District of Napa Valley will be able swap four wheels for two from this harvest season, when the region will roll out official tours visiting some of the district's 19 wineries.

Guests will be able to join a six-hour guided tour which features a catered lunch, several wine cave experiences and tastings and wine delivery back to participants' car or home so that they can cycle unencumbered.

County official Eliot Hurwitz says that the $149 (€107) program could be the start of something bigger.

"We believe that this kind of program will be a prototype and a role model for future AVA (American Viticultural Area)-sponsored initiatives in Napa County, the U.S. and the world."

"Wine country touring can be experienced in a manner that reduces congestion and the carbon footprint on what is a fragile agricultural region."

Several companies have sprung up offering cycling tours through California's wine country, although the new scheme says it's the first to offer an official tour.

Similar schemes are also available via third-party resellers in the Bordeaux region of France and several areas in Italy, as well as in Germany and Canada's famous Okanagan wine area in British Columbia.

http://www.stagsleapdistrict.com/

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