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Posts Tagged ‘Earth Day’

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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Wente Vineyards invites guests to an admission-free Earth Day Celebration from 1-5 pm on Sunday, April 17, 2011. Enjoy a full day of great food, wine, tours and entertainment.

Tour the recently re-awarded Audubon Sanctuary at The Course at Wente.

The celebration will provide visitors a time to reflect on promoting respect for life and encourage awareness for air, water and soil pollution. Wente Vineyards is excited to mark Earth Day by highlighting their ongoing sustainability efforts and green initiatives.

Get a look behind the scenes at Wente’s green efforts with complimentary tours of the property with an on-site garden tour at 2, 3 and 4pm, led by Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk. Or tour the recently re-awarded Audubon Sanctuary at The Course at Wente Vineyards at 2, 3 and 4pm.

There will also be entertainment throughout the day with performances from local musicians.

Make Earth Day at Wente Vineyards a family affair. Several hands-on activities for kids, including a place for kids to craft jewelry from recycled products and a worm composting station, will provide a fun learning environment.

Enjoy a special Earth Day three-course menu at The Restaurant at Wente.

Wente Vineyards will feature presentations detailing sustainability at 1:30 and 3:30pm.

Earth Day at Wente Vineyards is an admission-free event, but food & wine is available for purchase. Stroll through the beautiful grounds and enjoy dishes available through purchase from Catering with Wente Vineyards.

The award-winning Restaurant at Wente Vineyards will offer a special three-course menu featuring ingredients sourced from the property’s organic garden, priced at $42.

Purchase tickets to taste six wines, two from Wente Vineyards, Tamas Estates and Murrieta’s Well. Tickets are $15 per person and $10 for Wente Vineyards, Murrieta’s Well and Tamas Estates Club Members and can be purchased at the event.

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