Field Stone Winery Tour - August 24, 2013
by Joan and Mark Campagna, Redwood Region Members
Field Stone Winery: A Cool Summer
Several hands shot up toward the brilliant morning sky in
answer to the question: Any new members here today? You bet! Welcome to
the Redwood Region Porsche Club and our August Field Stone Winery run!
Rounds of applause greeted new members as well as old friends as we
worked our way through the Drivers' Meeting and prepared for our ride. A
hallmark of this club is the thought and preparation that goes into
making club runs as smooth and pleasant an experience as possible. Today
would prove this once again as we adapted to more than one detour in our
Detour #1 was before we even started. The Freeway exit to our meeting
place, Kaffe Mocha on Airport Blvd., Santa Rosa, was closed. Not to
worry, though...we were as prepared as a troop of boy scouts. We pulled
out the "detour alert" we had printed from
the Club website and continued on to the meeting place.We didn't know it
yet, but it would not be very long before we hit Detour #2.
Club business completed, our convoy of 26 sleek machines
pulled out of the parking lot and headed east and south, down Old
Redwood Highway, and east on Mark Springs West Road, where we hit Detour
#2. This short wait worked in our favor, though, as trip leader Scott
Buchanan talked up the signalman, who ushered all of us through as a
We hit the "high point" of
our route as we continued to travel east on Porter Creek and Petrified
Forest Roads through the Mayacamas Mountains that span the Sonoma/Napa
county lines. Our pace picked up as the roads rose and fell in curve
after curve before us, slipping by in that special way time moves when
you're "in the moment." And nothing can put you in the moment like
driving a Porsche on a road like this!
Panoramic view of the vineyards and our Porsches (photo by Paige Gaines)
Dropping down out of the forest, we followed Foothill Blvd. to Tubbs
Lane to CA-29 S., crossing the floor of Napa Valley to regroup on the
eastern side on Silverado Trial. From here, the halfway mark on this
50-mile jaunt, we rode south for several miles, turning right onto Deer
Park Road to make our way back to the western side of the valley.
As lunchtime approached, we joined the stream of Saturday traffic moving
north on CA-128 W. We passed our entry point into the valley again -
Petrified Forest Road - but continued north for several more miles.
Field Stone Winery was fast approaching!
For those not familiar with this Healdsburg winery, it is renowned as
much for its architecture as for its wine. To quote the Field Stone
winery is a fascinating, small, underground facility carved into a
picturesque oak knoll in the midst of its rolling vineyards...." And -
lucky us - waiting there in the shade of a 100-year old oak tree was
wine and a catered lunch and an afternoon yet to be filled.
We gathered round the oak for introductions and a few tastings before
splitting up into two groups for a tour of the winery. We walked through
fields with vines as old as that oak out front and sampled the unpicked
grapes, so different from the grapes on our market shelves. The
underground rooms were delightfully cool after the day's ride.
Lunch was served beneath the oak tree shortly thereafter: a buffet of
BBQ tri-tip, sausages, ranch beans, a salad, and brownies or chocolate
cake for dessert. As our party relaxed around the tables (a few of us
going back for seconds) we had the chance to catch up with our new
members and find out what they thought of the run.
And we hope we do see each of them again, along with the friends and
colleagues we already know. Party season is coming up and you know what
fun that always is!
Editor's note: Joan
asked some new members for feedback about their first Redwood event.
Paige and Eileen Gaines' reply is reproduced below.
As newbies to the PCA- Redwood Region, this was our first event... and
we thoroughly enjoyed it! Meeting friendly folks, touring twisty
roads in the 911, wine tasting and eating BBQ is pretty much my idea of
a perfect day.
When we pulled up at Kaffe Mocha, Eileen was a little bit bashful about
being thrown into a group of strangers only to realize (as is usually
the case at any given affair) that she already knows more people than I
do. It was nice to see that we weren't the only first-timers, though,
allowing any deer-in-the-headlights expressions/confusion to be shared!
The printed instruction and route sheet was clear. The mileage points
were a little out of whack for our old '85er, opening a small can of
worms. Does this mean I have the wrong size wheels? A bad speedo sensor?
Did someone replace the gearbox in the past? Does this mean I'm really
not exceeding the suggested speed limit by as much as I've thought?
The route was great. The Silverado Trail, Hwy 128 and Hwy 29 are some of
my favorite roads in that area. Taking Mark West Springs is the
preferred road to Calistoga. It was fun playing the game of "keep the
Porsche behind you in sight while you watch the taillights in front"
along the way!
We were dutiful lemmings and followed the small group that made that
final left turn a bit too early. About a half mile down the road I
conceded that there was no winery entrance to be found. I believe this
eventually made us the very last car to arrive at the correct parking
area. This, in turn, allowed us to park in the very most scenic spot
next to the vineyard (as was my plan all along) for taking pictures.
Eileen loved the wine (I don't drink) and joined the Field Stone wine
club. I loved the BBQ and have begun searching for those Bar-M beef
sausages. We both loved the winery, vineyards and the area. I managed to
meet my photo quota with my little camera. As I frequently say as I get
older, "Sudden stops for photo ops" has replaced "I don't care where I'm
going as long as I get there fast!" Here's a
link to some pix.
After a nice afternoon in the company of our new friends and fellow
Porsche enthusiasts, we finished the Hwy 128 ride to 101 and headed
home. We're looking forward to the Sept. 28th, Oktoberfest
for our next event!