The 13 Most Instagrammable Places in the Livermore Valley Wine Country

If you’ve been to the Livermore Valley, you know that the entire region is Instagram worthy! Here are 13 spots that are begging to be captured by your camera, and posted for all of your followers to see.

What are your favorite spots in the Valley? Don’t forget to use #LiveaLittleMore in all your social posts! 


1. Ellen Rowe Concannon Victorian House at Concannon Vineyard

Image by: victoria_kiani


2. Barrel Wall at Crooked Vine Winery

Image by: alo_ayalaaa


3. Purple Barn at Darcie Kent VineyardsImage by: brigmix


4. Mansion at Elliston Vineyards

Image by: danatoddphoto


5. Painted Wings at Embodied Wines

Image by: allisonmollengarden


6. Wood Door at Las Positas Vineyards

Image by: haydunc

7. Barn at

Mitchell Katz Winery Read More

Fall Activities in the Livermore Valley!

October is here & Fall is upon us! We thought we would list some of our favorite fall festivities here in the Livermore Valley.


Downtown Livermore’s Tree Sweaters

Image by Doug Jorgensen via The Independent

Grab your coffee or tea from your favorite downtown cafe and take a stroll through Downtown Livermore to see this years’ beautiful “Tree Sweaters”. These handmade sweaters that are knit to every tree will be up until Friday, November 18th, before being donated to the Valley Humane Society of Pleasanton as comforting blankets.  You can find these cozy trees along First Street between Maple and L Street. Bothwell Arts Center sponsors the Tree Sweaters each Fall. Read More

Live Well with Zinfandel

Livermore Valley’s take on a quintessential California wine grape

There is a briskness in the air as fall marches on and it’s the perfect time to spice things up in wine country. In November, Livermore Valley highlights Zinfandel as the featured varietal. This bold and classic varietal is the number one planted grape in California.
The primary flavors include jam, blueberry, cherry, plum, boysenberry, cranberry and licorice.  Other aromas you may be able to pick out are black pepper, black cardamom and anise. Tannins and acid are generally medium to medium high.

How do you decide what to pair with this rambunctious varietal? Think barbecued red meats, and lighter meats like turkey or ham. For cheese, try manchego. For veggies think something bold like roasted tomato, red peppers, caramelized onion or roasted squash to bring out the wine’s fruitiness. Need more inspiration for dinner? Check out our Pinterest board for recipe picks.

You can find Livermore Valley Zinfandel at more than 20 Livermore Valley wineries.
Recent award-winning wine includes:

  • Eagle Ridge Vineyard 2012 Zinfandel (Silver, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016)
  • Stony Ridge Winery 2012 Del Arroyo Vineyards Zinfandel (Gold, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016)
  • Wood Family Vineyards 2013 Big Wood Zinfandel (Gold, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2016)
  • Read More

    And the Winners Are…

    Congratulations to the winners of Thursday night’s Annual Quest for Pairing Excellence and thank you to everyone who participated!  Let’s not delay… here are the winners who make your cooking look like it needs improvement, or is that just me?

    Judges Best Pairing – Wente Vineyards and The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards

    This team may have had the upper edge, I mean, who knows the wine better than their own restaurant?  But their pairing of the 2014 Small Lot Serenity with berkshire pork sausage with bing cherry mostarda and Riesling fermented kraut ensured that they were ready for victory!

    Best Classic Pairing – Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery and Gan


    The team paired their 2013 Chateau Molyneaux Merlot with wedding cheeks with a charred Korean pepper soubise, crisp potato and pickled red daikon.  Difficult to imagine it all together, but this definitely had us going back for more!

    Most Innovative – Dante Robere Vineyard and Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar


    This team paired their 2013 Roberitage, 50% Syrah 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with minced chicken in lettuce spears with a sweet hoisin sauce. Oh my!  One of the best things about this dish was that it was delicious and savory without being heavy.


    Our panel of judges consisted of Linda Carruci, Culinary Instructor and Author, Fred Swan, Wine Writer & Educator at San Francisco Wine School and Deborah Parker Wong Journalist & Educator for The Tasting Panel, SOMM Journal and Clever Root.  While they may be the experts, our guests voted the following as their favorites.

    People’s Choice Red Wine Pairing – McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Beet’s Hospitality Group

    This team paired the Cabernet Sauvignon with a 12-hour house smoked dry rub brisket with homemade smoky paprika pimento cheese in a crispy risotto shell.  And let me tell you, every hour that was put into this pairing was worth it.

    People’s Choice White Wine Pairing – Longevity Wines and

    Johnny Garlic’s Read More

    The Countdown is On!

    Taste Our Terroir is less than two weeks away and I am excited.  Why am I so excited?  To put it in one word, Taste Our Terroir is awesome, inspiring, delicious, worth-throwing-your-diet-out-the-window fun!  Ok, so maybe I can’t exactly describe why I love Taste Our Terroir in one word, but here are some of the things I’m looking forward to in next week’s event.

    Thursday night’s Quest for Pairing Excellence.  This event kicks off the Taste Our Terroir weekend and it is spectacular!  18 teams of local restaurants and wineries create their perfect pairings.  You’re going to wish you were a cow and had four stomachs to consume all the delicious food.  Personally, I was blown away by the pairings last year.  I’ve had a glimpse of some of this year’s pairings and it looks like they’re going to be even better than last year, which seems impossible, but it’s true.  The best part is that you get to vote for your favorite red and white wine pairings!  I love seeing who ends up winning and it’s announced with time for you to get around and try those pairings if you hadn’t tried them already.

    In addition to those 18 teams tantalizing your taste buds, there will be ten additional wineries pouring on the patio and in the dessert room.  Yes, you read that right, a dessert room.

    As if that wasn’t enough there are some truly amazing auction items this year.  There’s a cruise with either Retzlaff Vineyards or 3 Steves Winery, a chance to get your cellar stocked with wine from the competition, and so much more.

    This event sells out every year, so go get your tickets now… seriously… you don’t want to miss this event!  Here, I’ll even give you the link. CLICK HERE! 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.
  • Read More

    Congratulations to the Uncorked! Winners

    We are proud to announce that the fabulous Livermore Valley wineries won a total of 62 medals at Tri-Valley Conservancy’s Livermore Valley Uncorked! Wine Competition this year!  This is a true testament to the hard work that our winemakers put in and the quality of the wine that they are creating.  Find the complete list below and be sure to come taste at our fabulous Livermore Valley wineries!


    Nottingham Cellars | 2015 1846 Sauvignon Blanc



    Concannon Vineyards | 2014 Reserve Chardonnay



    The Steven Kent Winery | 2015 Lola



    Darcie Kent Vineyards | 2012 Stone Patch


    BEST OTHER RED Read More

    Barrel Tasting: A Taste from the Winemaker

    Tasting wine from a barrel is a rare opportunity that anyone can step out of the role of wine taster and peek into what it is to be a winemaker.  Winemakers taste from the barrel not only to check if it is ready for bottling, but also to make sure nothing is spoiled, or when they are considering which wines to blend together.

    Barrel tasting is a unique experience in that the wine sample is not like any other barrel of wine.  When wine is ready to be bottled, all the barrels are mixed together in one large tank, resulting in wine that is a combined result from many barrels.

    To make sure you’re ready for Barrel Tasting Weekend, here are the main components of tasting explained so you can impress your friends with your winemaking knowledge:

  • The Barrel | Generally made from oak, but can also be made of stainless steel. The barrels have a huge impact on the flavors incorporated in the wine.
  • The Wine Thief | The tool used to siphon wine out of the barrel.
  • Futures | A chance to purchase the wine you tasted now at a discount, and receive the final product after it has been bottled (usually 12-18 months later).
  • Read More

    Touchdown for Livermore Valley: How wine tasting is like playing football

    Rumor has it that beer and football are the perfect pair, but have you ever thought about how football and wine tasting are similar?  I know, it sounds ludicrous!  One features pads, balls, and wrestling on a field while the other is the essence of class and sophistication, but hear me out.

    Everything takes place on the field, which you could argue is similar to your wine country map.  With the streets and wineries on the map it looks like an incredibly complicated play.  You’ll need your game plan of which wineries you want to visit and don’t forget to notify the Quarterback!  He or she is your trusted designated driver who will literally drive (see what I did there) you from place to place.

    Alright, let’s head out to wine country (singing of the National Anthem optional).  Grab your group of friends, or team, and don’t forget to include any rookies!  Not sure what to wear?  Your wine country casual uniform, of course!

    At each winery you are greeted by the Referee, or the person behind the bar.  They will walk you through your wines and make sure you don’t commit any fouls.  Just as in football, there are wine tasting fouls that can be called on you.  Be sure not to commit any of the following:

    False start: wine tasting on an empty stomach

    Personal foul: chewing gum while wine tasting

    Roughing the passer: spilling wine on a teammate or someone on another team

    Like football, the highlight is the touchdown: finding that amazing bottle of wine to take home with you.  Feel free to drop to one knee right in the winery and pull a Tim Tebow.

    Livermore Valley wineries, just 30 miles from Levi Stadium, have exciting events in the weeks before, during and after the Superbowl!  If you’re flying into one of the Bay Area airports, stay right here in Livermore Valley.  You can make sure you don’t get called for a false start by trying any of our amazing restaurants and if you need a ride around wine country or to the Super Bowl our transportation partners are here to help!

    So with that, let’s adhere to Peyton Manning’s play call and “hurry hurry!” out to Livermore Valley to taste some delicious wines.  Ready, set, HIKE!