LARRY BROOKS - Tolosa Winery
Tolosa Winery is well known for their delicious Chardonnay & Pinot Noir, their fabulous hospitality center and tasting room, and their wonderfully innovative events. This May 19th, the 4th Annual Côte de Tolosa Velo Challenge is set to take place. While wine and bikes might not be the most traditional pairing, winemaker Larry Brooks finds the two to go hand in hand.
Larry Brooks has been making wine with Tolosa for over a decade. The fruits of his labor have earned numerous accolades and awards over the years and Tolosa has become one of the Central Coast’s most popular wine tasting rooms for both locals and tourists. The variety and quality of the wine Tolosa produces attracts a wide spectrum of wine lovers from novices to connoisseurs.
Equal to his passion for winemaking, Larry covets the time he has with his bike. For the past 30-plus years, Larry has been riding both competitively and leisurely. In fact, his decision to first learn about winemaking can largely be attributed to his love of bikes. The UC Davis graduate program cover was illustrated with a racing bike. Larry took that as a sign and jumped at the chance for a career as a winemaker.
Edna Valley, known for its marine climate, rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, is an ideal location for cyclists of all skill levels. Larry, along with Tolosa Winery, is proud to share this experience with folks that may not have the opportunity to ride on this type of terrain. Côte de Tolosa features a rigorous 100km course, which includes both paved and dirt roads, with plenty of climbs and varied ground. The course begins at Tolosa and follows the less traveled path Northeast through the historic town of Santa Margarita, toward Pozo and onto High Mountain Road. The second half of the ride meanders by Lopez Lake and back through the south end of the Edna Valley.
Check in time is at 7 a.m. at Tolosa Winery. There will be a finish line lunch served at 1 p.m. Guests, spouses and friends of any rider are welcome to join the lunch for a nominal fee. Trophies will be awarded to qualified riders. The actual ride is limited to 100 riders and the proceeds from ticket sales are donated to the SLO County Bicycle Coalition in celebration of SLO Bike Month. The Coalition’s mission is to “improve the quality of life in SLO County through bicycle advocacy, education and inspiration.”
To see a venture between the wine country and the coalition makes perfect sense and can only improve the relations between wineries and cyclists. These two California essential activities make SLO one of the happiest places on earth. To learn more about the race and Tolosa Winery, visit www.tolosawinery.com.