Wine 101 – Put Your Best Sip Forward with Jeremy Troupe-Masi

Wine 101 - Put Your Best Sip Forward with Jeremy Troupe-Masi

Learning about wine can initially seem intimidating, especially if you are new to the wine scene. Yet, tasting wine in the Livermore Valley is a far cry from daunting; it’s a welcoming, enlightening, and exciting experience. The valley is renowned for its friendly atmosphere, often surprising visitors with winemakers themselves guiding you through the tasting rooms. This is one of the main reasons we offer a Livermore Valley Wine Passport, as it is the perfect way to get to know, understand, and love the art of wine tasting. So, let’s start 2024 off right with a little Wine 101 that will help you ‘Put Your Best Sip Forward’! Read More

Your Summer Bucket List

Today is the first day of my favorite season.  Happy summer to all!  With any new season I think it’s important to write a list of things to accomplish, so without further ado here’s my bucket list for the summer.

  • Bike through the Vineyards. There are so many places you can go on your bicycle!  Hop on and ride from winery to winery and enjoy the beautiful views that Livermore Valley has to offer.  For all of the local bike paths, click here.
  • Taste Our Terroir. This is four days of wine and food from your favorite wineries and restaurants.  The line up couldn’t be better this year with a lobster feed, progressive dinner, brunch in the vineyards, wine seminars and so much more.  Click here for the full list of activities.  Attend one event or multiple for a full weekend of delectable fun.
  • Picnic in the Vineyards. You don’t have to get down in the dirt to enjoy a picnic.  Many of the wineries have great spots to picnic.  Find a full list here.
  • Garden Trail. Did you know that there is a Drought Resistant Garden Trail throughout Livermore Valley?  Check out this map and view beautiful gardens.  You can even stop in at some of the wineries and sip while you commune with nature.
  • Harvest Wine Celebration. Sadly, the end of summer, but celebrate the change in seasons and the newest harvest of wine grapes.  Over 25 wineries will be participating in this two-day event.  This is also the 35th Harvest Wine Celebration so expect the weekend to be better than ever.  Click here for tickets and details.
  • Try a new winery. We all have our favorites and it is so easy to just keep going back to them. This summer, branch out and try a new winery or two before heading to your old favorites.  You may notice that your favorite winery list will get longer and longer.  For a full list of wineries, click here.
  • Movie Night in the Vineyards. More than one winery will be hosting movie nights throughout the summer as well as a multitude of other events.  Enjoy the summer heat as the sun sets and watch one of your favorite movies.  For a full list of winery activities, click here.
  • Ride the Livermore Trolley. Have you heard that you can hop on and hop off at certain Livermore Valley wineries this summer?  This is a great way to get around without having to drive.  Don’t want to share your ride?  Here’s a full list of our transportation partners.
  • Livermore Airport Open House. Technically, not in summer, but who doesn’t love to make plans ahead of time. Check out the newest hangar at the airport, peruse airplanes, all while sampling some of Livermore Valley’s finest wines.  Check back here for more details as the event gets closer, but for now, mark your calendar for October 1st.
  • Try a new restaurant. Oh how I wish we could simply drink wine all day.  Unfortunately, we must eat food as well.  Try one of these restaurants for some delicious bites before, during or after your wine tastings.
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    Castro Valley, Sunol Destinations Pour Bliss in a Glass

    Plan your Livermore Valley Wine Country visit here or print the driving directions here.

    1  Perched atop the Sunol Grade on Sheridan Road, just a half-mile from Interstate 680, Nella Terra Cellars Winery and Event Center is the newest addition to Livermore Valley wine country. The grounds offer a fantastic backdrop and intimate experience for special events, with vibrant green hills in the winter and flourishing vines in the summer.

    In their hillside vineyard, the Beemiller family has planted two varietals that are well suited to the cooler days of Sunol: pinot noir and viognier. The vines will produce winemaking grapes in a few years. In the meantime, Nella Terra sources local fruit for a variety of artfully made wines, including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and a red blend called Redded Bliss. Nella Terra Cellars is open only by appointment and prefers groups of 10 or more, so gather a group of friends and call ahead to schedule your visit. Located at 5005 Sheridan Road in Sunol, the tasting fee is $10. Visit them online at

     Hop onto I-680 northbound, exit the freeway at Calaveras and head toward Sunol. You will find Elliston Vineyards on Kilkare Road, about a half-mile from Main Street. Established in 1890 by pioneer Henry Ellis, Elliston has produced fine wines since 1890, and has specialized in weddings and special events since 1982. The historic stone mansion, lush grounds and secluded Terrace Room offer a unique and picturesque atmosphere.

    Elliston cellars and bottle-ages wines for longer than most California wineries. When visiting the tasting room, it isn’t uncommon to experience wines that are four to 10 years old. Located at 463 Kilkare Road in Sunol, Elliston is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Wine tasting is complimentary. Visit at

     3  Return to downtown Sunol and turn right onto Niles Canyon Road, then right onto Palomares Canyon Road. This peaceful, 8-mile trip takes you to Westover Vineyards Winery and Event Center, which offers the largest selection of ports in Livermore Valley. The winery is nestled in a beautifully secluded mountain setting complete with a courtyard fountain and waterfall reception area. Owner William Westover Smyth is descended from the first woman winemaker in the state of California, and his great, great grandfather started farming in Alameda County around 1850. Westover produces all of the wines and ports on site. Located at 34329 Palomares Canyon Road in Castro Valley, the winery is open from 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with a $5 tasting fee. Visit at

    4  Consider a side trip to ride the rails in Sunol. The Pacific Locomotive Association operates the Niles Canyon Railway as a living history museum interpreting the importance of our heritage railroads in the development of California and the nation. Visit their website at

    For more winery information and help planning your trip to Livermore Valley wine country, please visit