On the wine trail…

A tour of Livermore’s wineries

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By now you can see how much work this can be! Trust me it can be tiring but we do find absolute enjoyment in the process. Also by this point you must have your spit etiquette down to an art – not to say ours is ever rusty. The day was moving along and we made stops at Rios-Lovell Winery, Cedar Mountain and Garré Vineyard and Winery. A notable stand out at Garré is their 2003 Cabernet Franc.

Livermore Winery

With a few more wineries on our list, our next stop was Wood Family Vineyards, where we were graciously welcomed by owner and winemaker Rhonda Wood. From airline pilot to winemaker, Rhonda without a doubt is following her passion. All of her artesian wines are crafted from Livermore fruit. Rhonda’s small production wines are an enjoyable experience. While at Wood Family Vineyards we had the pleasure to meet the folks from McGrail Vineyards. Accepting the invitation we stopped by their Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard to admire the
wonderful job they, along with mother nature, are successfully accomplishing.

Leaving the vineyard we made a stop at Bent Creek Winery, White Crane Winery and finally Bodegas Aguirre. As the saying goes “save the best for last” could never ring more true. Bodegas Aguirre is owned by Dr. Aguirre whose winemaking craft could not be finer. Outside we tasted the 2002 Petite Sirah as well as the 2002 Merlot. I knew something was up when the Petite Sirah was poured – wine that could easily be mistaken for ink. While I was chatting about the wine, Dr. Aguirre was making the rounds to make sure all were having a good time and stopped by the table. After introductions we were invited to taste their reserve wines. I expected this to be a treat but little did I know how over the top it would be.

Livermore Grapes

Entering the small quaint tasting room, we found the place abuzz with giddy patrons. We squeezed into the end of the bar and our palates were treated to hedonistic delight. The powerhouse standouts are the 2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva and the 2002 Estate Castello Nuovo, which is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. In addition, we tasted the 2002 Estate Petite Syrah Reserva and the 2002 Estate Trio which is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Petite Syrah, which also offer sensous satisfaction. Having purchased all 4 of these wines we invite you to be on the lookout for upcoming PinoVino reviews of each of these outstanding wines. In the meantime run – don’t walk (but don’t tell everybody) – to Bodega Aguirre and buy these wines. With total production at 1500 cases they undoubtedly will disappear quickly.

In the two days we enjoyed a brief appetizer of what Livermore wineries have to offer. I saw plenty of wine loving people in each place I visited. If you seek fine wine in a relaxed country setting then you will enjoy – as I discovered – Livermore wine country. So long for now and we hope to see you out on the wine trail.

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