Archive for June, 2011

 Two getaway packages entice visitors to the historic Livermore Valley wine country this summer.

The Livermore Shakespeare Festival and Livermore Valley Opera have teamed up to offer the perfect option for travelers seeking a full weekend of entertainment among the vineyards, with the ‘Bard & Bravo Package.’ It includes two tickets to the Livermore Shakespeare Festival’s production of The Tragedy of Macbeth in a gorgeous outdoor setting under the stars at Concannon Vineyard on Saturday, July 30, 2011 and admission to Livermore Valley Opera’s Bard & Bravo Festival at Retzlaff Vineyards on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Also included is one overnight stay at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Livermore, two bottles of Livermore Valley wine and wine tasting coupons at select Livermore Valley wineries—for $259.

This is the first year Livermore Shakespeare Festival has joined with the LVO to offer this package for visitors. The intimate venues offer spectators a truly unique way to experience performances.

Livermore Shakespeare Package

Annual favorite, The Livermore Shakespeare Festival, is back for another season with the ‘Shakespeare in the Vineyards Package.’ An exciting San Francisco Bay Area option that’s indulgent but affordable, the package includes two tickets to the Livermore Shakespeare Festival in the gorgeous outdoor setting under the stars at Concannon Vineyard, along with an overnight stay at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Livermore— for $229.

The Livermore Shakespeare Festival includes a production of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth.

As the sun sets in the vineyard and the play begins, ‘Shakespeare in the Vineyard Package’ customers will be treated to a picnic for two. Available June 30-July 31, 2011, the special also includes: a gourmet picnic provided by Barbara Llewellyn Catering for Underdog Wine Bar, a bottle of Concannon wine, a full hot buffet breakfast, complimentary wine tasting at select wineries, as well as a Livermore Downtown Guest Pass for discounts at participating businesses in the charming, historic downtown shopping district.

Available Thursday through Sunday, package customers can opt to see either Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor.

For more information about the Livermore Shakespeare Festival, including how to purchase individual tickets, please visit http://www.livermoreshakes.org/.

For more information about the Livermore Valley Opera, including how to purchase individual tickets, please visit http://www.livermorevalleyopera.com.


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The agricultural heritage of Tri-Valley comes alive at the farmers markets in each of the region’s five cities. The San Ramon Farmers Market at Bishop Ranch is no exception. Unique and new to the San Ramon Farmers Market, is the seasonal mid-day Thursday Artisan Food Market.

With many vendors making crepes, calzones and pizza on site, the market is a great place to grab lunch.

The Artisan Food Market is open 10 am-2 pm every Thursday from June-October. Featuring more than 40 booths, the market includes the Bay Area’s best food vendors and premium local growers.

A great way to grab lunch on Thursdays and stock up on fresh produce for the weekend, the Artisan Food Market offers a great selection of freshly prepared foods, fine bakeries, and in-season, organic and locally grown produce.

Pleasanton-based From Sea to You is a regular vendor at the Artisan Food Market.

The market includes full range of local culinary products including:

Feel Good Bakery combines old world baking techniques with new world creativity to produce exceptional hand crafted breads, pastries, French macarons, cookies and pizza.

The San Ramon Farmers Market’s commitment to the artisan food community and small regional producers has created a localized gathering place that celebrates culture and fine cuisine, while promoting producers who practice sustainable methods of agriculture.

In addition to the seasonal Artisan Food Market, San Ramon Farmers Market also has a year-round traditional farmers market every Saturday from 9 am- 1 pm.

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One of Livermore Valley’s newest wineries has quickly become a favorite among winery visitors and wine critics alike. Father and son team, Jeff and Collin Cranor, started Nottingham Cellars in 2009 and have been producing award-winning wines ever since.

Using only grapes sourced from the best vineyards in Livermore, Winemaker Collin Cranor handcrafts small lot wines, and carefully tends to the wine in every step of production. The result: amazing quality.

The dedication to the winemaking process has not gone unnoticed by industry experts. Nottingham Cellars won an award for every wine submitted at this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Winning wines at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition:

2009 Chardonnay – Double Gold
2009 Chardonnay Reserve – Silver Medal
2008 Cabernet Sauvigon – Silver Medal
2008 Ralphi’s Red Blend – Bronze Medal
2008 Syrah – Bronze Medal
2007 Viognier – Bronze Medal

Nottingham Cellars is quickly making a name for itself with numerous awards at major wine competitions.

Nottingham Cellars is quickly gaining acclaim, winning numerous awards at major wine competitions.

Visitors to Nottingham Cellars’ tasting room will have an opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of the winemaking process with the new Wine Education Series. Each month the public is invited to a special seminar that focuses on a specific varietal or step in the winemaking process.

The Wine Education Series is $10 per person and free to Nottingham Cellars Wine Club Members. More information about the Wine Education Series is available online  or by calling the tasting room at 925-294-8647.

Nottingham Cellars Wine Education Series gives insight into the winemaking process.

 Upcoming schedule for the Wine Education Series:

Saturday, June 11th

Wine Education Series: Supremacy Bordeaux Wine

Get an exclusive preview of Nottingham Cellar’s Bordeaux-style blend, Supremacy. Join the winemaker for an intimate presentation and discussion of Bordeaux-style wines. A light food pairing and special tasting be offered.

Saturday, July 9th

Wine Education Series: Malbec 

Just in time for the official release of the 2009 Malbec, get the scoop on the newest release at a presentation, food pairing and exclusive first tasting of the wine.

Saturday, August 13th

Wine Education Series: From Vine to Wine Pt 1 – In the Vineyard 

Wondering just how the grapes go from beautiful lush vineyards to the bottle? The Wine Education Series takes a look at the first step in the wine production. A presentation will discuss aspects of vineyard management and what Nottingham Cellars looks for before the grapes even get to the cellar. They’ll also talk about the source of the grapes, tricks of the trade and more.

Nottingham Cellars is located at 2245 S. Vasco Rd., Unit C in Livermore. The tasting room is open Friday-Sunday, Noon to 4:30 and by appointment.

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