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Archive for April, 2012

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Escape to Tri-Valley’s renowned Livermore Valley wine country for an overnight performing arts experience! With top-tier tickets, fine dining, overnight accommodations and other amenities, the Livermore Valley Wine Country Escape package is ideal for visitors in search of an enjoyable getaway.

The new package is available for ten upcoming performances at the Bankhead Theater including dance, theater and comedy, as well as a broad range of music from the crystalline voices of Chanticleer and rich soul vocals of Lizz Wright, to the festive sounds of Mariachi Sol de Mexico and infectious country rock of Pure Prairie League.

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The Wine Country Escape combines a pair of tickets for the performance, a gourmet three-course dinner for two at Sanctuary Ultra Lounge across from the theater with appetizer, salad, entree and a glass of Livermore wine, and an overnight stay (double occupancy) at the nearby Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham. A complimentary bottle of award-winning Livermore Valley wine, a wine tasting card for use at local wineries, and a Livermore Downtown Guest Pass for discounts at participating businesses are also included.

A $370 value, the two-person Livermore Valley Wine Country Escape is available on a limited basis for the unbeatable price of $259.

This special package is offered in conjunction with several upcoming performances at the Bankhead Theater:
Alonzo King LINES Ballet – Contemporary Dance with Global Artistry & Vision
Saturday, April 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Pure Prairie League – One of Country-Rock’s Pioneering Forces
Thursday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Chanticleer “Love Story” – A Glorious Evening of Sheer Vocal Perfection
Sunday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m.
Buffalo Rome Rodeo Weekend – Country Western Music with a West Coast Feel
Friday, June 8 at 8:00 p.m.


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Conveniently located 33 miles from San Francisco, Tri-Valley’s Livermore Valley Wine Country has a long history of winemaking tradition and more than 50 wineries.

For an affordable weekend adventure, visit Tri-Valley and the cities of Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and San Ramon. Check out our website for info on attractions, places to stay, events and exclusive deals!

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Several Livermore Valley wineries celebrated the opening of the Drought Resistant Garden Trail with a sign installation and toast at Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery on April 12. Developed in cooperation with the Alameda County Master Gardeners, the initial phase of the new trail includes the first of many local winery and event center gardens to feature native, drought resistant plantings.

Livermore Valley wineries at the grand opening of a drought resistant garden trail.

Lisa Meier of Las Positas Vineyards, Jim Ryan of Concannon Vineyard, Linda Ault of Cedar Mountain Winery, Chris Chandler of Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, Nancy Rodrigue of Rodrigue Molyneaux, Glenn Matthews of Wente Vineyards and Shari Wentz of Alameda County Master Gardeners.

The gardens are open to the public and are a great way to experience Earth Day in Tri-Valley. Participating wineries include:

Cedar Mountain Winery: A wide perennial garden flanks both sides of the barrel room. The garden is filled with roses; especially captivating is the climbing rose Altissimo. Hardy penstemon and sages also fill the beds.

Concannon Vineyard: Playful topiary is the obvious theme of these gardens, where even mature Fruitless Mulberry trees are trained into arches and orbs. Drought resistant New Zealand flaxes, purple hopseed and daylilies are scattered among the olive trees. Concannon was one of the first wineries in Livermore Valley to use roses as detectors of molds and mildew in the vineyard.

Las Positas Vineyards: Many drought resistant grasses, including California fescue and Mexican feather grass are planted in this extensive landscape that also features Teucrium chamaedrtys (germander).

Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery: Avid gardener and winery owner Nancy Rodrigue is challenged by lack of sun in her landscape that features many garden “rooms.” With the advice of master gardeners, she has replaced ground covers with ceanothus and native deer grass. A border that runs along an outdoor seating area has been replanted with honey bush mahonia and various colored leafed heuchera that add color.

Wente Vineyards Estate Winery: A former parking lot at Wente’s Tesla Road location is now planted with hardy trees, shrubs and perennials that welcome guests to picnic. Outside the winery, white oleander and olive trees under planted with rosemary, lavender and agastache repeat in drifts along Tesla Road. Coffeeberry and heleanthemum are highlights of a corner garden in this lush space that features native and drought resistant plants.

Martinelli Event Center: Property given to the Master Gardener Program by the county in 2000 now blooms as an example of beautiful landscaping in a dry summer garden. The University of California Alameda County Master Gardeners Livermore Demonstration Garden is divided into six areas: an oak garden, a flower garden, a dry creek bed garden, a garden that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, a wind garden and example of gardening on a berm.

Livermore Valley's winery garden trail.

Livermore Valley's winery garden trail.

Several other Livermore Valley wineries are actively working with the Master Gardener Shari Wentz to design and plant drought resistant gardens that will be included in future phases of the wine country trail.

“Although the program is still in the beginning stages, the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association and Alameda County Master Gardeners are excited about this cooperative effort and its potential,” said Wentz.

All of the gardens on the Drought Resistant Garden Trail are open to the public and the Master Gardeners Livermore Demonstration Garden hosts monthly classes. The Master Gardener program is part of Cooperative Extension, the outreach arm of the University of California through its Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide residents of Alameda County with information to help them garden in schools, backyards, nursing homes and other locations. Inspired by Earth Day on April 22, wineries around the state of California are celebrating ”Down to Earth Month” with hands-on workshops, eco-tours, green-themed events, special offers and tastings of eco-friendly wines. Explore “Down to Earth” events at and plan a visit just as California vineyards are coming alive with spring.

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