Livermore Valley Wine Country is home to some of the oldest wineries in California and was actually the wine region in the greater San Francisco area before Napa Valley. We spent a full day visiting and more importantly, tasting wines, from three different wineries.
The Livermore Valley Wine Country dates back to the 1760s with some of the earliest grape vines in the region and the first wineries opening up in the late 1800s. The region has grown to over 5,000 acres of vineyards with 50 vineyards operating in the appellation.
We spent a full day three wineries in Livermore Valley Wine Country including Garré Vineyard, Crooked Vine, and Wente Estate which are all within two miles of each other.
If you plan on visiting several wineries and doing tastings at them all, make sure you have a designated driver or alternative means of transportation, as it does add up throughout the day.
Best wineries in livermore:
Lunch and Wine Tasting at Garré Vineyard
We started the morning off with a wine tasting at Garré Vineyard and had a genuinely amazing conversion about travel with server as we tasted our way through the best white and red wine varieties.
At Garré Vineyard there is a $15 tasting fee at the Tasting Room which is refunded with two bottle wine purchase.
When we were done tasting wines, we walked across the property from the tasting room to the Garré Café where we enjoyed a delicious Italian inspired lunch created with locally sourced foods.
Since it was a nice day we sat on the patio, enjoying the warm sun and the views of the property. We enjoyed the juicy Pastrami sandwich and Risotto with Salmon. With lunch of course had a glass of our favorite Garré Vineyard wine from the tasting.
Crooked Vine & Stony Ridge Winery
After lunch it is just a short drive over to our second stop of the day to the new tasting room at Crooked Vine & Stony Ridge Winery. Since it was not a busy day we were able to walk around the beautifully landscaped grounds between wine tastings.
The Crooked Vine vineyard was established in 1995 and has grown into a powerhouse for red wines, produced completely from its 200 acres of vineyards.
At Crooked Vine there is a $15 tasting fee for five tastes along with a complete history of the vineyard and a short story about each wine you taste.
Winemaking Blending Experience at Wente Estate
By the afternoon we had seen the vineyards, learned learned the wine making process, and tasted some local California wine, all that was left is to blend our own bottle of wine!
In the two hour Winemaking Blending Experience at Wente Estate we started with learning how to talk about and categorize the different base wines to blend into our own bottle. Each person gets to blend their own bottle of wine so everyone can go home with the perfect bottle to match their taste.
The best part about our wine ambassador had so much wine knowledge and history of the region to share, while focusing on what interested us most.
After tasting and recording each wine option, we created our own recipe and got to blending! The most important thing to remember is to try the wine blend before mixing a whole bottle’s worth. This way you still have the chance to fine tune the blend before bottle.
With your full wine blend, it is on to bottling, and the chance to cork your own bottle before applying your very own label! The whole wine blending experience at Wente Estate is an amazing way to not only taste the vineyard’s wine, but go home with a unique gift from the Livermore Valley Wine Country.
The Winemaking Blending Experience at Wente Estate costs $120 per person and includes the hands on wine tasting seminar along with your very own blended bottle of wine to take home.
Dinner in Downtown Livermore
Wine tasting at three wineries combined with the Winemaking Blending Experience makes for a full day in the Livermore Valley Wine Country. We drove back to downtown Livermore to enjoy a stroll down First Street passed many boutique stores and restaurants.
One of the best restaurants in Livermore is the Zephyr Grill & Bar, where we enjoyed the fresh Crab Tower and a New York Steak Strip with cabernet herb butter. As with most restaurants in Livermore they feature many wine varieties from the region to pair with dinner.
We ended dinner with a delicious Gingerbread Pudding topped with vanilla bean ice cream before heading back to the hotel after a fun full day of wine tasting in the Livermore Valley Wine Country.