Livermore Valley – A Hidden Gem for California Wines & Great Times

When I my wife & I visited the Livermore Valley last year, we knew little about the delights the region had to offer. Coming from the UK, we weren’t sure quite what to expect. I have written this post in order to sing the praises of the people of the Livermore Valley. Although this region is not as well known in the UK as, say, the Napa Valley, we felt more at home here than we did during many of our trips to Europe and we were made to feel very welcome.

We had planned to visit this region at the time of the 2011 Livermore Wine Country Festival in order that we could get a quick overview of what was worth looking into in more detail. If you’re in the region at the beginning of May, this can give you a nice introduction to the community and you can get a number of ideas of the places you can visit on the trip.

We thought that May would be a good time to visit California as the vines were beginning to bloom & as this was the start of the tourism season. We thought we’d “get in early”.

This was our first trip to California & we were struck by the spartan splendour of the Californian vineyards with rows of vines often offset starkly with mountains. This is in contrast to the French wine-growing regions we have visited before. For anyone looking to visit, a drive down the Tesla Road or the Greenville Road will give you an idea of what the region looks like with a drive past miles of beautiful scenery.

We came across a new use for wine: Kevin from Roses Frozen Wine Company showed us frozen wine, or, as he called it, “an adult slurpie” which packed quite a punch. Although it wouldn’t appeal to the purists, we found it to be a great refresher & a bit of fun. There were a large number of wineries who were exhibiting in 3 different parts of the downtown area – plenty of choice.

We visited a number of vineyards during our trip, including:

  • The Concannon Vineyard where we met John Concannon a 4th generation vintner.
  • The Crooked Vine Vineyard on whose courtyard I slept off a few glasses of their Zinfandel
  • The Rios-Lovell Winery that was a beautiful place to soak up the sun & enjoy the Californian panorama
  • The Eagle Ridge Vineyard which is a wonderful, family-owned winery that epitomised our stay: warm hearts & great wine

These are all on the Tesla Road for those of you who don’t want to stray too far.

We also visited the Fenestra Winery on Vallecitos Road and were made to feel very welcome by the people we met there and, as a result, my wallet was much lighter when we returned home.

We were struck by the passion that people had for their wines here, doubtless part of the American spirit.

We found this trip wonderfully refreshing and will be returning to California next year partly because there is so much to explore but mainly because of the welcoming and hospitable nature of the Californians, especially the folk of Livermore.

If you’re from the UK or Europe and are thinking of visiting California to sample the wines, I can recommend the Livermore Valley. People from the US may not be overly familiar with this ‘hidden gem’ either & I’d recommend it to them, too.

The only downside to the whole holiday was that my camera was stolen somewhere on the way home which means I can’t offer much in the way of a flavour of this region. Still, at least we have our memories & our wine book!

 

This post was written by Asgar Dungarawalla of Champagne Gifts 4 U a website that specialises in Champagne Gifts for special occasions.

 

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