Posts Tagged ‘mcgrail vineyards’

Several new and long-standing events will delight visitors and locals across the Tri-Valley this year. The Irish spirit will be celebrated throughout the region’s downtowns and wine country. Here are some highlights of the exciting festivities:

ImageThe City of Dublin hosts its 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18 in the Civic Plaza. This admission-free event is perfect for the entire family. The festival promises an authentic Irish experience with three stages of entertainment, an Irish tea cottage, carnival rides, crafts and more. The Dublin Lions Club Parade kicks off Saturday at 9:30 am and the Shamrock 5k is Sunday morning. 


Downtown Pleasanton gets the holiday started early with the first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Brew Crawl on Friday, March 16. Enjoy local craft beer and appetizer tastings in at several downtown Pleasanton businesses. Tickets are available online and at several downtown locations for $30 pre-sale and $35 at the door. The last downtown brew crawl sold out in advance, so get your tickets quickly!

Livermore Valley wine country gets in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit with several wineries holding special events. Gold on Greenville Road invites you to taste the Gold Medal-winning wines from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at participating wineries on Greenville Road. Bent Creek Winery will showcase its 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Zinfandel Port, Charles R Vineyards highlights its 2009 Zinfandel, McGrail Vineyards & Winery for its 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Wood Family Vineyards showcases its 2009 Zinfandel. This is an admission-free event, but a $5 tasting fee applies at each location.


Cedar Mountain Winery and Eagle Ridge Vineyard will also have special Irish-themed events and wine pairings during the weekend.

For a complete list of St. Patrick’s Day events in Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon and Danville visit the CVB event calendar. Make it a St. Patrick’s Day weekend getaway and book an overnight stay at one of Tri-Valley’s hotels.


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The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition proved to be a breakout year for Livermore Valley wineries. With 143 award winners from the region, critics, wine experts and consumers are taking notice of the recent success from the Livermore Valley.

Now you have the chance to celebrate Livermore Valley’s big winners during an intimate winemaker dinner to be held Friday, February 24th at Wente Vineyards. This is sure to be a memorable evening highlighting the award-winning wines, smartly paired with tempting courses from The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. The gourmet menu includes:

2009 Cuda Ridge Wines MerlotBest of Class- paired with ahi tuna carpaccio, black olives, pickled red onions, fried caper berries, micro greens and herb oil.

2009 Bent Creek Cabernet SauvignonBest of Class- paired with creamy herbed polenta, wild mushroom- oven dried tomato ragout, charred red peppers and focaccia crisp.

2008 Wente Vineyards Nth Degree SyrahBest of Class- paired with smoked grimaud farms guinea hen confit, braised white beans, radicchio, bacon broth.

2008 McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ReserveRed Sweepstake Winner- paired with mesquite grilled flat iron, carrot puree, roasted cipollini and salsa verde.

A dessert reception will follow with specially selected wine from each winery.

The evening kicks off at 6:30 pm with a welcome reception. The winemaker dinner and dessert reception will immediately follow from 7:00- 10:00 pm at the Wente Vineyards Event Center. A limited number of tickets are available for purchase online for this intimate evening.

According to Heather McGrail of McGrail Vineyards, the Livermore Valley Winemaker Dinner is just one example of the collaboration evident among wineries throughout the region.

“Everyone was very excited about the results from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and Larry Dino from Cuda Ridge winery approached us about partnering for a winemaker dinner,” said McGrail. “Fortunately, most Livermore wineries enjoy working together and believe in the philosophy that working together creates greatness.”

McGrail Vineyards Winemaker, Mark Clarin, also agrees that the results from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition are just the beginning of great things to come for the Livermore Valley.

“The Livermore Valley has a rich and long history of producing exceptional wines over the past 150 plus years. Among the varieties historically recognized are Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Sirah,” said Clarin. “As we have moved into the 21st Century we are proving that many noble grape varieties can produce outstanding wines including our Cabernet Sauvignon. Livermore Valley AVA – We are cooler than you think.”

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Livermore Valley's winter tradition, Holidays in the Vineyards is December 3-4, 2011.

Take a couple days to get away for some holiday fun during the hustle and bustle of the season! Tri-Valley has a season full of events to treat yourself to during the holidays.

Celebrate the season at Livermore Valley’s annual wine country tradition, Holidays in the Vineyards. This admission-free event is December 3 and 4 from noon to 5 pm. More than 40 wineries will feature special tastings, food pairings and events. Local artisans will be at several wineries offering a wide variety of gifts for holiday giving, including chocolates, honey, jewelry, soaps, garden ornaments, knitwear, stationery, aprons, pet accessories and candles.

Santa Claus will make an appearance at Crooked Vine/Stony Ridge Winery, Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery, White Crane Winery, Cuda Ridge Wines, Longevity Wines, McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Mitchell Katz Winery, Tamas Estates and Wente Vineyards.

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association hosts this holiday favorite. Check out the organization’s website for a full list of participating wineries, special wines, discounts, activities and vendors.

Cuda Ridge Wines is just one of more than 40 wineries featured in this year's Holiday's in the Vineyards.

Make Holidays in the Vineyards a true wine country weekend escape! Take advantage of the Winter Weekend Getaway, offering a $50 Visa card for a weekend stay at many Tri-Valley hotels. It’s the perfect excuse to pick up an extra bottle of your favorite Livermore Valley wine, dine at one of the Tri-Valley’s heralded restaurants, or pick up the perfect gift for a loved one at a downtown boutique.

Check out or list of perfect places to stay for your Tri-Valley Winter Weekend Getaway!

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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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Spring is an ideal time to visit the Tri-Valley. The air is crisp, hills are green, and mustard brightly clusters between the rolling grape vines. Extend your visit for the entire weekend during the Livermore Winegrowers Association’s third annual Barrel Tasting Weekend, March 19 & 20, 2011.
More than 30 Livermore Valley wineries are scheduled to participate,  offering samples of wines still in development—direct from their barrels. Guests with special event wristbands and official glasses will receive at least one barrel sample at each participating winery. Most winemakers will be present to personally pour and discuss their young wines and offer delicious pairings with gourmet appetizers, artisan cheeses, chocolate and nuts.

Advance tickets are available online now for $30. Tickets purchased at the event will be $35 per person. Each ticket includes a souvenir tasting glass featuring the Livermore Valley Wine Country logo, two days of barrel tasting at participating wineries, special activities and discounts and an event map.

Livermore Winegrowers Association's 3rd Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend, March 19 & 20, 2011

Livermore Winegrowers Association's 3rd Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend, March 19 & 20, 2011.

Each winery will offer a unique experience to Barrel Tasting Weekend guests. Many will give discounts on wine purchases to ticket holders only. Examples of special events and wines to be tasted include

  • Big White House & John Evan Cellars: tasting of 2009 Sangiovese, 2009 Roussanne, 2009 Lapsus and 2006-2010 Syrah vertical. Bottle your own wine for $99 per case.
  • Cedar Mountain Winery: barrel samples of 2009 Zinfandel to be paired with Bissenger Raspberry Creams. Complimentary premium tasting. Bottle your own olive oil (bring your own bottle).
  • Eckert Estate Winery– tasting 2008 Malbec and 2009 Carignane. “Ensemble,” a hands-on workshop for creating balanced blends 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Wines paired with cheese fondue and ‘sipping chocolate’. 10% off purchases of single bottles and 25% off on cases.
  • McGrail Vineyards & Winery– tasting Casa de Vinas Petite Sirah and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Seguin Moreau Barrel Cooperage will give a barrel talk and demonstration. 25% off all wine purchases.
  • The Steven Kent Winery & La Rochelle Winery: tasting La Rochelle 2009 Pinot Meunier on Saturday and Steven Kent 2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon on Sunday. 20% off purchase of 6 bottles or more.

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Take a break from the holiday shopping countdown and enjoy Holidays in the Vineyards from noon to 5 p.m. on December 4-5, 2010. This annual admission-free Livermore wine country event features new releases, barrel tasting, entertainment and local vendors.

Holiday in the Vineyards Logo

Livermore wineries welcome the holidays with festivities and exclusive deals.

Guests are encouraged spread the holiday spirit by dropping off a toy at any winery to support Livermore-Pleasanton Firefighters Association’s Toys for Tots drive, benefiting children in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

More than 35 wineries are scheduled to take part in this year’s Holidays in the Vineyards. Some of this year’s highlights include:

Enjoy a barrel tasting of the signature Winter Star Blend at Big White House & John Even Cellars. Take advantage of the limited sale of sparkling wines with cocktail recipes, great for holiday entertaining.

Nottingham Cellars is celebrating its first anniversary with live music and complimentary sparkling wine tasting. Danville Chocolates will also be on location with tempting treats for purchase.

Make it a family affair and bring the kids to visit Santa, who will be stopping by Garre Vineyard & Winery, Cuda Ridge Wines, Longevity Wines, McGrail Vineyards, Mitchell Katz Winery, Tamas Estates, Wente Vineyards and White Crane Winery.

While this is an admission-free event, tasting fees apply at some locations. A complete list of activities, discounts, vendors, and tasting fee information is available on the Livermore Winegrowers Association website.

Treat yourself to a weekend of holiday wine country fun. Tri-Valley hotels are located near Livermore Valley wine country and offer great rates and weekend packages.

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Perfect wine for chilly winter nights

PLEASANTON, CA – December 16, 2009 – The Tri-Valley, California Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) www.trivalleycvb.com, a sales and marketing organization dedicated to promoting a five-city region in San Francisco’s East Bay, today unveiled the Livermore Valley Wine Winter Starter Kit. Designed to make it simple for wine enthusiasts near and far to celebrate with festive wines this holiday and winter season, the Starter Kit contains top picks from the valley’s winemakers themselves.

Tri-Valley residents who shop and buy locally will find comfort in sipping local wines. While beyond the backyard, people who expect wines that are undiscovered yet delicious, will appreciate the introduction to many of the boutique wines found in the Livermore Valley.

Located only an hour from three major airports (SFO, SJO, OAK), 42 Livermore Valley wineries are nestled amongst stunning rolling hills, making California’s Tri-Valley region an ideal destination for wine vacations.

From vine to table, many of the wines born in the Livermore Valley are undiscovered gems, while others stem from historically significant, familiar labels, such as Concannon Vineyards, or Wente Vineyards – the country’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery.

Winemaker Recommendations

As the days grow brisk and the nights chilly, it’s no surprise that the valley’s winemakers and executives behind the Winter Starter Kit are lining up for reds, with Rhone-style wines, such as Syrah and Petite Sirah, grabbing their attention.

Concannon Vineyard was the first winery to release Petite Sirah in 1964. An iconic label for Rhone varietals, their Petite Sirah is a favorite of Winemaker Wayne Re of Garré Winery & Vineyard, “It has an excellent nose and fruity flavor that goes well with either red meat or poultry.”

White Crane Winery Winemaker Nick Nardolillo recommends Wood Family Vineyards Syrah,“It’s a great red wine that pairs well with a lot of Holiday dishes.”

“I recommend Garré Syrah. It shows some really nice cooler climate tendencies with a touch of red berries on the nose, hints of creaminess and just a touch of bacon,” said Nicolas Tucker, director of marketing, Underdog Wine Merchants. “It went nicely with the spaghetti bolognese that I had at Garré’s café this week.”

Chris Graves, Winemaker for Ruby Hill Winery, founded in 1887, recommends La Rochelle 2007 Pinot Noir Classic Clones, “It’s lovely, elegant, yet rich pinot, great pairing for most winter dinners, including turkey, fish or game. Delicious wine!”

Another fan of Wood Family Vineyards is Heather McGrail,Owner, McGrail Vineyards and Winery, “Wood Family Old Vine Zinfandel is a great wine to enjoy while sitting by the fire, relaxing and unwinding from the hectic holiday buzz. This wine doesn’t need to be paired with food, but it also compliments most meals.”

“Cabernet works during the winter months, in my opinion, because of the classic flavors associated with this wine. I appreciate BoaVentura’s estate grown cab. Currant, plum, black cherry and subtle spice coupled with soft jammy notes create a supple elegant wine that works in harmony with the holiday theme,” offers Rodrigue-Molyneaux Winery’s Dan Silva, apprentice winemaker and tasting room manager.

Most Wines Are Under $25

Wallet-minded consumers will be pleased to note that all of the 15 wines in the Starter Kit are under $50, and within this affordable lot, 7 wines are under $20, while the bulk of them, 12 wines, are priced at $25 or less. Considering that the winemakers were asked to select their favorite wines — with no regard for price — consumers can have confidence that affordability is not at the expense of quality.

Livermore Valley Wine Winter Starter Kit & Holiday Gift Guide

Winery Wines & Price Where to Buy(wines are also available in their respective tasting rooms)
BoaVentura de Caires Vineyard 2006 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon ($34) Purchase Online
Concannon Vineyard 2005 Petite Sirah, Limited Release, Central Coast ($16)

2005 Reserve Syrah ($25)

Fine wine shops and grocery stores nationwide

Purchase Online

Elliston Vineyards California Sparkling Wine ($14) Purchase Online
Fenestra Winery True Red Lot 24 ($10.50) Fine wine shops in Tri-Valley

Purchase Online

Garré Winery & Vineyard 2005 Syrah Reserve ($27)

2005 Cabernet Franc ($23)

Purchase at tasting room
La Rochelle 2007 Pinot Noir Classic Clones ($42) Purchase Online
Les Chênes Estate Vineyards Duex Blancs (Viognier/Chardonnay) ($22) Purchase at tasting room
McGrail Vineyards & Winery 2006 McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($30) Purchase Online
Murietta’s Well 2006 Red Meritage ($38) Fine wine shops and grocery stores nationwide and online
Rodrigue Molyneaux 2007 Sangiovese ($18) Purchase Online
Ruby Hill Winery 2007 Zinfandel Livermore Valley Estate Reserve ($24.50) Purchase Online
Steven Kent Winery 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore Valley ($45) Purchase Online
Wente Vineyards 2008 Riva Ranch Chardonnay ($19.95)

2006 Crane Ridge Merlot ($19.95)

Fine wine shops and grocery stores nationwide

Purchase Online

White Crane Winery White Crane Vintage Port ($17.47) Purchase Online
Wood Family Vineyards 2006 Syrah
“Madden Ranch”
Livermore Valley ($24)

2007 Old Vine Zinfandel, Raboli Vineyard ($32)

Fine wine shops in Tri-Valley

Purchase Online

For more information on visiting Tri-Valley, California, and its stunning, affordable Livermore Valley Wine Country, stop by the bureau’s website: http://www.trivalleycvb.com.


Media Contact:
Susie Marino

925.846.8910 W

415.613.9138 M



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