Livermore wine tasting tour

Livermore Valley Wine tourMany thanks to Lorrie & Ira for organizing the tip - it went off without a hitch. Everyone met up at the Weineys, with tales of the Cinderella Bicycle run that we passed getting there. We got people and dogs sorted into 4 vehicles, and we got on the road almost on time.

The good news is I didn’t have to drive so I got to taste! We had perfect weather, not too hot, but not a bit cold.

First stop was Concannon, one of the oldest wineries in California. We had a lovely tour, and then a private tasting in one of the barrel rooms. There was a classic Mustang club there as well, so we got some car ogling in. Cost: 2 bottles of Cabernet and a Petite Sirah.

On to La Rochelle, in a lovely little garden pavilion. Then, across the parking lot to the subterranean tasting room fo Steven Kent. There we tasted a phenomenal Cabernet that was for “members only”, and was probably worth the $50 a bottle price.

Piling back into the cars, we headed to Cedar Mountain, where we started tasting with a Merlot and something pleasant and white (OK, I’m really not into the whites). Lorrie had arranged for us to picnic in their “garden” and provided salami, crackers and a wide range of cheese for tasting. We were visited by a ruby throated humming bird, and a brilliant yellow bird that our ornithology expert Chuck identified as an Oriole. After dining and talking for awhile, we tasted the rest of their offerings, and packed up & got back on the road.

Next stop was Eckert Estate Winery, where we were greeted by a red tailed hawk sitting on a fence post. He flew off, and we piled in the tiny tasting room and sampled some lovely reds. By this time, I needed somewhere to sit, so I grabbed a chair out under the awning, and relaxed in the cool early evening air. Eventually, everyone had tasted and it was decision time. One more winery or back for dinner. Luckily, the vote came up for “more wine!” and we headed up to Thomas Coyne.

This winery is up on the edge of the hill and has a splendid view of the whole valley. From here, you can see just how much building has been done, and how few vineyards are left. Thomas Coyne has a lovely old barn and a few sheep, and the fields were full of rabbits. No, I wasn’t that drunk, there were rabbits. Cost: one bottle of an intriguing Muscat.

We picked up a map at one of the wineries, and it has small patches of green which are labelled “Land Preserved in Perpetuity” whick cover less than a third of the valley. We can only hope that the wineries can survive, and will be there for another perfect day, out in the sun, with friends.