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More than 20 businesses from Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville will celebrate Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week January 21-29, 2012.

Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week is an incredible opportunity to experience some of the best wine and food in the destination at a value they can’t get at any other time of the year. January is also a great time to get hotel deals with the Winter Weekend Getaway promotion, offering a $50 Visa card for weekend stays. Visit and experience the diversity of what Tri-Valley offers, from wine tasting to shopping and so much more.

Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week

From upscale wine country restaurants to charming downtown cafés and innovative local favorites, visitors to Tri-Valley can 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.

Participating restaurants in Tri-Valley will showcase their culinary styles and signature dishes with exclusive pre fixe lunches for $15 and dinners for $20 or $30.

Select participating restaurants include The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Eddie Papa’s American Hangout, Stomp! Wine and Small Plates LoungeNonni’s Bistro, Blue Agave Club, Milano Joe’s Cucina Italiana, Maria Maria, Underdog Wine Bar and Campo di Bocce.

Visit the CVB website more information, a complete list of participating restaurants and menus.

Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week is part of California Restaurant Month, designated by Visit California. Upward of 30 destinations across California, from the desert and coast to wine country and High Sierra, are hosting restaurant weeks and other value-driven food programming this January.

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The Single Vineyard Series Cabernets will be showcased at an evening of food & wine pairings

The Steven Kent Winery  continues its 2011 Winemaker Pairings Series on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 with a food and wine walk-a-bout. The evening features The Steven Kent Winery’s Single Vineyard Series Cabernets and the artfully crafted pairings of Chef Neil Marquis of Marquis Catering, and formerly of Eddie Papa’s in Pleasanton.

This event will take place in the Barrel Room where guests can casually stroll from station to station tasting the tempting pairings of food and the highly-regarded Single Vineyard Series wines.

Wondering just what kind of pairings to expect? Check out these descriptions:

First Station

2008 Home Ranch Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Cabernet Beef Bourguignon over Black Pepper Pasta with a Cabernet infused Sour Cream

Second Station

2008 Smith Ranch Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Cabernet-marinated and Smoked Flank Steak with Chimichuri Sauce on Sourdough Crostini

Third Station

2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet, Livermore Valley
Mini Pulled Pork Sliders with Cabernet, Black Cherry BBQ Sauce and Cajun Coleslaw

Dessert Station

Steven Kent Cabernet Port
Coconut Black Bottom Cupcakes

This ultimate evening of food & wine pairings is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26. Reservations are required as this event is an intimate occasion limited to 50 guests. The cost is $55 per person for the general public and $50 per person for Steven Kent or La Rochelle club members. Call 925-243-6442 to reserve your spot.

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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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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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Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week, January 23-30, 2011

 

Campo di Bocce offers an exlusive prix fixe during Taste of Tri-Valley.

Campo di Bocce in Livermore offers an exlusive prix fixe during Taste of Tri-Valley.

Restaurants throughout the region are gearing up for the first-ever Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week, happening January 23-30, 2011 as part of California Restaurant Month, as designated by the California Travel & Tourism Commission.

The finest, most renowned chefs and restaurants in the Tri-Valley will showcase their culinary styles and signature dishes for diners. The event features an array of well-known restaurants, casual dining establishments and local purveyors that will provide one of a kind dining experiences offered during this week only. Visitors can also experience the bounty of Tri-Valley by visiting Livermore Valley wineries, farmers markets and local farms.

Cafe Garre has a menu full of tempting entrees perfectly paired with Garre wine.

Food lovers can indulge in a prix fixe meal, specialty dish or special offer at the more than 25 participating restaurants. Many participating restaurants have Livermore wine available that pairs perfectly. No tickets or passes are required for Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week. Diners simply dine out at as many participating restaurants as they like all week.

All the details are available on the Tri-Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau website. Be sure to check out the complete list of participating restaurants and offers. This is a great opportunity to try a new restaurant or revisit an old favorite. The challenge might just be choosing which restaurants to visit!

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Signature dishes and Livermore wine take center stage at Swirl on the Square.

Take the time to venture  to the outskirts of Downtown Livermore to discover a local gem that does not disappoint. Swirl on the Square is friendly, laid back wine bar located in Blacksmith Square.

Inside large, comfortable chairs provide a casual lounge feel that invites patrons to relax, linger and enjoy a unique wine list and lunch or tapas menu. This is the perfect wine bar for any fan of signature, small lot local wines. The wine list changes weekly, always includes more than 95% Livermore Valley wine and never includes wines that are mass produced. The wines selected for the menu often include rare finds, reserve wines and vintages that haven’t even been released yet.

Wood Family Vineyards, Fenestra and Cuda Ridge are just a few of the local wine options at Swirl on the Square.

Just one visit to Swirl on the Square will give you a true taste of the bounty of Tri-Valley. In addition to the inventive local wine list, Swirl partners with two neighboring businesses in Blacksmith Square. Green Leaf BBQ often grills carnitas, tri-tip and more for Swirl’s lunch and tapas menu. Victorine Valley Farms olive oil and balsamic vinegar are also included in recipes to give the dish a special touch.

Swirl on the Square routinely hosts special events including local bands, wine tasting nights, four-course winemaker dinners and artist receptions. Perfect for your next luncheon, girls night out or relaxing evening with friends, Swirl on the Square is a wine bar that should not be missed.

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A myriad of exciting special events and deals await Tri-Valley residents and visitors this Labor Day weekend. Whether you’re looking for cultural events, wine or entertainment, the Tri-Valley has something enticing.

Day of Discovery Festival

Wente Vineyard’s Discover the Wine, Discover the Music series continues with the Day of Discovery Festival on Saturday, September 4 featuring LUCE and numerous Bay Area bands on three stages in the beautiful winery setting. Tickets are $29 in advance and $35 at the door. Children ages 12 and younger are free. Doors open at noon and music begins at 1 p.m. Food, wine and beer will be available for purchase. Tickets are now available by calling the Wente Vineyards box office at 925.456.2424.For more information visit Wente’s website.

145th Annual Scottish Highland Gathering & Games

Named an ABA (American Bus Association) Top 100 Event in North America for 2010, keeping company with internationally known events such as the Parade of Roses and Indianapolis 500, the 145th Annual Scottish Highland Gathering & Games represents another great reason to visit Tri-Valley on Labor Day weekend. Held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5, the event attracts over 100 clans and over 100 vendors. Organized by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco, the event features athletic and cultural events, entertainment and food vendors. Admission tickets range in price from $10-22 and admission for children 11-years-old and younger is free. For more information and to purchase advanced tickets, visit the Caledonian Club website.

29th Annual Wine Harvest Celebration

Music, food, crafts and wine await attendees of this popular festival held throughout wineries in the picturesque Livermore Valley. More than 40 wineries will take part in the 29th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration benefiting the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association on Sunday, September 5 and Monday, September 6, held at wineries throughout the region and Robertson Park in Livermore. Attendees will enjoy complimentary wine tasting, music, art & food vendors, vineyard tours and winemaking seminars. Tickets range in price from $10-65 and are currently available for purchase online, at various locations in Livermore and on the day of the event. Be sure to check out the full event schedule. Due to the festival, visitors should note that tasting rooms at participating wineries will be open only to ticket-holders both Sunday and Monday.

Travel Deals

Many other Tri-Valley hotels, restaurants, wineries and shops are also offering discounts and specials for the Labor Day weekend. For more information about any of the packages, discounts and events scheduled for the holiday weekend, visit the Tri-Valley CVB website or text “Wine” to 91904. Facebook fans can also visit the deals section.

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