February 27, 2007
Watch Your Step

The hike down the mountain could be more challenging than the hike up. That's my knee-jerk reaction in looking over a press release from Kunde Estate in Sonoma Valley. It announces the winery's annual slate of "Eco Tours," when fourth-generation winemaker Jeff Kunde leads groups through vineyards from the valley floor up to about 1400 feet in the Mayacamas Mountains. As the groups start their way back down they pause at Boot Hill for lunch and a wine tasting overlooking the valley. Boot Hill isn't a pioneer cemetery, but it is the site where the old TV series "Falcon Crest" staged its burials. Lie there on a balmy day after a couple of glasses of wine and you might not feel like getting up, either. At any rate, the approximate four-hour tours this year are May 5, June 2, Aug. 25 and Oct. 20. They cost $75 per person. More information on the treks is at the winery's Web site.

There, information also is available on Kunde's complimentary "Sustainable Winegrowing Hikes," which also involve strolls through vineyards, but no lunch unless you bring your own. Both kinds of hikes are intended to inform wine enthusiasts of how sustainable grape growing is represented in bottles of wine.

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