Bottega Gran Fondo: Riding and Eating in Napa Valley

Bottega Gran Fondo Header LogoThe worlds of food, wine and cycling converge at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega Gran Fondo where Chefs, Winemakers, Sommeliers and Pro Cyclists join others to serve as Ride Leaders for a unique Napa Valley adventure.  For your ride, you’ll have two course distances to choose from:  40 miles and 75 miles.  So, come join Chef Chiarello and his friends and peers from the food and wine world for a scenic bike ride and other festivities on April 13, 2014.

What sets Chef Chiarello’s ride apart (aside from some of the best roads in the world) is the strong team element.  When registering for the ride, you can sign up to join the group of your choice so this isn’t so much a race as a rally of like-minded riders.  However, you should move quickly as the Ride is limited to only 300 registrants, and the registration price increases after February 15th.

Chiarello Family VineyardsThis weekend was created by this Chef, Vintner, TV Host, and avid cyclist himself, offering a scenic ride through Napa Valley accompanied by wine, food and plenty of opportunities to bond with friends and/or make some new ones.  For complete details, to see a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions, and to register for Bottega Gran Fondo, then please go here.

Bottega Gran Fondo – The Ride

Yountville, CAThe Bottega Gran Fondo ride starts at 8 am on Sunday April 13th at the Community Center in Yountville and the route eventually finishes just across the street.  Riders will begin on the streets of Yountville, turn onto Highway 29, cross over Rutherford Cross Road, and then travel north up the Silverado Trail.  Your initial group (of up to 24 riders) will ride along with your designated Ride Leader, at least until the first rest stop at Frog’s Leap Winery. After that, you can either stay with your team or find your own pace as you start your climb up Howell Mountain to Chiarello Family Vineyards, and then descend back down toward Yountville.

For riders who select the 75 mile course, the path will split at about the mile 35 mark and divert over towards Mount Veeder, on the western side of Napa Valley.  This extended trip has a rest stop at O’Connell Family Wines, after which the course heads up “the backside” of Mt. Veeder before heading back downhill and returning to Yountville.  For more details, please follow these links to learn more about the 40 mile or 75 mile course.

Napa Valley Bike ToursIf you are interested in participating in Bottega Gran Fondo but would need to rent a bike, please contact one of these local stores for availability, rates and options:  Bicycle Works (Napa), Calistoga Bike Shop (Calistoga), The Hub (Napa), Napa River Velo (Napa), Napa Valley Bike Tours (Yountville), and St. Helena Cyclery (St. Helena).

Bottega Gran Fondo – The Live Fire Sunday Luncheon

Michael Chiarello Live Fire CookbookRide hard and get your appetite ready because after the ride on Sunday you can enjoy outstanding homemade pastas, pizzas, and specialty platters at this all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair.   Paninis and salads will be free flowing from 1 pm to 5 pm, with lunch appetizers starting at 1:30 featuring dishes from Michael Chiarello’s Live Fire Cookbook.  Lunch will be served at long family-style tables with plenty of water, wine, and beer in ample supply.

Luncheon festivitiets will include live entertainment and a Silent Auction.  If you are interested, you can purchase guest tickets for the Luncheon at $35 per person (and there will also be a special kids menu). 

Bottega Gran Fondo – The Ride Leaders

Here are the Ride Leaders for the Bottega Gran Fondo:

Bottega Gran Fondo – Registration

Giordana LogoBottega Gran Fondo Registration is $250 per person if you sign up by February 15 (and a portion of your entry fee is tax-deductible). After that, the price increases to $295 until March 15, at which point the cost will be $350 (if there are still spots available).  In addition to the Ride, your payment includes the Live Fire Luncheon, a Cooking Demonstration, Wine Tasting, a Bottega Gran Fondo cycling jersey from Giordana, and a musette bag of goodies.

On April 12, Packet Pick Up is possible at Groezenger Estate (6481 Washington Street, Yountville) from 1 to 4 pm.  On April 13, Pick Up will be at the Yountville Community Center (6516 Washington Street, Yountville) from 6:30 to 7:30 am (where you will also find coffee and Italian pastries). 


Vine Trail LogoBottega Gran Fondo is dedicated to supporting three important non-profit organizations in Napa Valley whose services benefit residents and tourists alike:  Clinic Ole (a community clinic which provides medical care to about 25,000 patients annually and their prenatal services support the healthy development of approximately half of Napa County’s newborns), Napa Bike (a coalition working to improve the bicycling environment and quality of life for all residents through advocacy, education, outreach, and special projects), and Vine Trail (committed to building a walking/biking trail system connecting the entire Napa Valley stretching from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga).

So come ride, and then eat, all while you support some very worthwhile organizations in Napa Valley.



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