Posts Tagged ‘Concannon Vineyard’

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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Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week

Celebrate the start of  Restaurant Week at the official Taste of Tri-Valley Kick-Off Party at Underdog Wine Bar at Concannon Vineyard. Underdog Wine & Spirits and the Tri-Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau have teamed up to bring you an exclusive event highlighting the region’s culinary scene.

Partygoers will be treated to an intimate event with live entertainment, food and wine. Acclaimed Bay Area chef, Barbara Llewellyn, has a tempting menu of decadent hor d’oeuvres, delicious dessert bites, and seasonal small plates made from local produce. Award-winning wine and a bubbly toast make for a perfect Livermore Wine Country evening.

Tickets for the Taste of Tri-Valley Kick-Off Party are $75 and can be purchased by calling 925-583-1581 or online.

The location and festive theme embody everything that is special about Tri-Valley’s culinary scene. The beautiful wine country location, gourmet tapas and award-winning wines will no doubt get people excited about Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week.

Taste of Tri-Valley Kick-Off Party at Underdog Wine Bar

If you can’t make it to the Kick-Off Party, don’t forget there is an entire week of special deals and signature dishes during Restaurant Week. More than 20 restaurants from Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville will showcase their culinary styles with  exclusive pre fixe lunches for $15 and dinners for $20 or $30.

From upscale wine country restaurants to charming downtown cafés and innovative local favorites, explore the region’s diverse culinary offerings without breaking the bank during Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week. The eight-day celebration provides food lovers the opportunity to dine at Tri-Valley’s vibrant and distinctive eateries for a fraction of the normal expense.


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One of Livermore Valley’s pioneering wineries, Concannon Vineyard, was the first winery in America to plant and bottle the Petite Sirah varietal. The rocky soil and warm climate proved to be the perfect environment for the grape 50 years ago.

Livermore wineries plan several events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Petite Sirah.

Today, the popularity of Petite Sirah is growing at a rate of four times faster than any other varietal. According to Concannon, 95% of all Petite Sirah planted is still in California. While Concannon may have been the first winery to produce the varietal, it is certainly not the only one. Many other Livermore wineries have a history of producing award-winning Petite Sirah.

The summer of 2011 marks the 50th Anniversary of the varietal and the Petite Sirah-producing wineries of Livermore Valley have organized several public celebrations to mark the varietal’s history in the region.

Kicking off the celebration is Petite Sirah on the Rails, a 2-hour train ride on the historic Niles Canyon Railway, featuring Petite Sirah tastings from Concannon Vineyard, Nottingham Cellars, McGrail Vineyards, Charles R Vineyards and Bent Creek Winery. Tickets are $45 per person and include tasting and light food pairings. Tickets are available online .

Next is a Celebration of Livermore Valley’s Shining Star: Petite Sirah! This is a first-ever all Petite Sirah tasting and dinner. The event will be held at McGrail Vineyards on Saturday, July 30 from 6:30-10 pm. 14 wineries are participating and tickets are $75/person. Only 150 tickets are available and may be purchased online.

The winery that launched the varietal, Concannon Vineyard, will host a two-day celebration of Petite Sirah on August 13-14. Guests can enjoy vertical tastings of vintages hand-picked by the Concannon family. Food pairings and cooking demonstrations will pair the wine with Petite Sirah products like chocolates, chocolate sauce and ice cream. There will also be live music and entertainment.

Adjacent to the tasting room at Concannon Vineyard, Underdog Wine Bar, will feature a new Petite Sirah flight honoring Concannon’s Conservancy, Reserve and Heritage Wines. A festive small plate menu will feature tempting dishes like short ribs braised in Concannon Vineyard’s Petite Sirah.

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