Another Wine Country Worth Exploring – Livermore Wine Country
By Megan MacNee
In Northern California we are spoiled in so many ways and possibly my favorite is our easy accessibility to countless wine appellations. While there is, of course, Napa and Sonoma you also have Lodi, Clarksburg, Amador, El Dorado, Healdsburg, Soledad, Carmel Valley in Monterey, Anderson Valley and many more.
One more worth adding to your list is the Livermore Wine Country in the Tri-Valley. About an hour and a half away from Sacramento you’ll find a wine country that has been growing grapes since the late 1800s, that offers everything you need out of a wine country.
Head down to Livermore and relax as you drive through hills covered in vines, great views of the valley, beautiful properties where you can enjoy a picnic or cornhole game with your glass of wine, a low-key vibe and, of course, high-quality wine at good prices.
How to Get Around Livermore Wine Country
Often one of the problems with wine tasting trips is deciding who your designated driver is. Thankfully, the Livermore Wine County provides you one during the summer season with their “hop-on, hop-off” wine trolley that allows you to visit many of their wineries. For only $20 a person the trolley will shuttle you between seven different wineries and one brewery and drop you off in downtown Livermore when you’re done for the day.
Wineries You Shouldn’t Miss
Steven Kent Winery – Here you’ll find a beautiful tasting room in their barrel cellar and a patio to enjoy as well. With a good variety of reds and whites you can find something just about everyone will enjoy. Their white blend Lola has quickly become one of my favorite wines to enjoy during this toasty summer.
Concannon Vineyard – Enjoy their large property while relaxing on the lawn or book ahead and you can enjoy an outdoor tasting at Concannon. You’ll find folks playing cornhole on the lawn and enjoying their afternoon on the property. Their Rhone-styled blend, Stampmaker’s Red, was my personal favorite.
Nottingham Cellars – Take in some music with your wine at Nottingham on Thursday evenings or Saturday afternoon at their relaxing tasting room. They offer three distinct brands of wine to enjoy.
Wente Vineyards – At Wente you’ll find two different tasting opportunities. Their Vineyard tasting room where you can tour the caves, try their current vintage and in the spring/summer taste out on their patio. At the Estate tasting room, you can enjoy their estate grown wines. Additionally, they offer a major concert series each summer. This summerincluded Chicago, Diana Ross, Andy Grammar and Lynyrd Skynyrd!
Where to Grab A Bite
Be sure to work Concannon Vineyard into your tour when you get hungry as they are also home to the Underdog Wine Bar. Here you can have a delicious lunch or end your day for happy hour or dinner after the wineries start closing. Enjoy their shareable and cheese plates for delicious pairing to your wine tasting.
Don’t Skip The Breweries
Do you have, or are you, that friend that tags along to wine tasting but it’s really not their thing and they’d rather grab a beer? While wine may be my drink of choice many prefer a good brew instead. Luckily tucked into Livermore Wine Country you’ll find Altamont Beer Works. A little lower on the hops than many Northern California Breweries you can taste your way through their taps for just $6 and try some of their unique brews like Ganja Juice.