California Travel Articles
The Livermore Wine Country by Kathy Howe
The Livermore Wine Country is located in San Francisco's East Bay Area approximately 30 miles east of San Francisco. It includes wineries in Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, and Castro Valley. This is one of the oldest wine regions in California. The first commercial grapes were planted in the 1840s by Robert Livermore.
If you have not experienced a California wine tour to the Livermore Valley, their wineries are sure to delight you with the quality and variety of their wines. This area has a delightful mixture of large and small wineries waiting for you to explore. Many are only open on weekends, but will make appointments for tasting during the week. Wine tasting is almost always complimentary. Many of the Livermore wineries are located on or near Tesla Road, a main road south of the city that runs west to east. Driving along this road, be sure to stop at: Cedar Mountain Winery, a small winery well known for their wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon and Ports; Steven Kent, producer of world class Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon; and Tesla Vintners, a community tasting room that pours wine from 6 small wineries including Fenestra, John Christopher Cellars, Little Valley, Red Skye, The Singing Winemaker, and Thomas Coyne. It's convenient to be able to sample wines from many wineries at one stop. Tesla Vintners provides free tasting. If you're lucky, you'll visit on a day when live music is provided as well.
Mitchell Katz Winery, stands on the site where the Ruby Hill Winery was built in 1887 in the town of Pleasanton. Mitchell Katz built his winery here in 1998 using bricks and keystones from the original winery. Stop by and enjoy the beautiful facility and sample their many fine wines.
A small winery located in a wooded area in Castro Valley, Chouinard Vineyards is a fun winery to visit. On Sundays throughout the summer you can listen to San Francisco Bay Area artists performing for Chouinard's "Music in the Vineyards" concert series. 2006 prices are $35 per carload. Chouinard Vineyards has many varietals to sample, including their gold medal winning Port. You won't find a friendlier tasting room.
There are two fantastic places to eat in Livermore. Café Garre, located at Garre Winery on Tesla Road, makes a terrific lunch stop. Enjoy their fabulous Mediterranean cuisine featuring fresh local foods. There's a selection of superb salads, sandwiches, and pastas that are sure to please. The Restaurant at Wente serves gourmet lunch and dinner in a casual but elegant atmosphere at Wente Winery's Arroyo Road location. This award winning Livermore restaurant serves regional American dishes influenced by Italian, French, and California cuisines. The menu changes daily. The food always looks lovely and tastes delicious. When the weather is nice, dine on their outdoor terrace to view the rolling hills, colorful landscaping, and sycamore trees.
In addition to wine tasting, the Livermore Valley also offers challenging golf courses, unique wine country accommodations, hiking, and shopping. Experience the Livermore Wine Country for yourself where here are more than 30 wineries waiting to be discovered.About the Author
Kathy Howe and her husband, Steve Howe, spend much of their free time tasting and enjoying wine. Their interest in wine is reflected in their Web Site, http://www.cheers2wine.com - A Comprehensive Guide to the California Wine Country.
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