In keeping with my plan to start biking to sketching destinations, my friend Phil and I took to the streets last Saturday. The morning was sunny and warm, as we each rode high on two wheels, heading to our first destination, Francis Ford Coppola’s winery, just north of Healdsburg.
As I suspected, riding bicycles instead of driving a car opened up a whole new world of visual treats. We saw turkey vultures resting on fences, old rusted tractors in pumpkin fields, and wooden water towers located off the main roads. I’m looking forward to all these new sketching opportunities.
Once we made it through the gate to the Coppola estate, it wasn’ long before we found a good spot to sketch. Coppola had a “wine wonderland” in mind when he built this facility, with wine tasting bars, two restaurants, a full bar, a swimming pool, a movie gallery, a performing arts pavilion and a park area with game tables and bocce courts. He designed a place the whole family can enjoy and it is truly a destination unto itself.
I sketched the east side of the winery with its most prominent spire and a patio restaurant covered with umbrellas. The vineyard to the left had already been picked but trucks thundered down the road behind me carrying bins of fresh picked grapes to the crusher.