Skip to main content

Notes on the Livermore Valley AVA

The Livermore Valley AVA is situated in northern California’s Alameda County and has 3,400 vineyard acres. Terroir features include well-drained gravel-based soils and wide diurnal swings. These temperature shifts are created from both the early morning fog and the evening breezes that come in from San Francisco Bay which is located only 35 miles away. The valley is also distinctly oriented laying from west to east instead of the more typical north to south. This unique placement enables it to fully enjoy these daily maritime climatic advantages.

The AVA gets its name from Charles Livermore who planted the first grapevines for commercial production in the area in the 1840's. Recognition for the region would follow when Cresta Blanca Winery, owned by Secretary of the California Viticulture Commision, Charles Wetmore, won the grand prize at the 1889 Paris Exposition. This wine was the first from California to win in a tasting competition in France. Long before the Judgment of Paris was held, Livermore put America on the world wine map. 

Two other wineries founded during this same time period managed to stay in operation throughout prohibition and have continued to remain leaders in California wine production. They are Concannon and Wente Vineyards. Family members have run these without interruption to the present day. The contribution to California winemaking from each is tremendous. Currently, eighty percent of California's Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay plantings come from these two vineyards' clones.

Although more than twenty-five grape varieties are now being grown, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon remain the most important grapes in the region.

The valley now has over 50 wineries. The Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association hosts numerous events and tasting experiences for consumers to enjoy throughout the year. With less than an hour drive from San Francisco, Livermore Valley is an ideal destination for your next California wine vacation.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Flavor Inspired Georgian Wine Tasting and Lunch

Last month, wine professionals in Houston were given the opportunity to taste wines from one of the country of Georgia's flagship producer, Teliani Valley, over lunch at Concura to learn about the ancestral grapes, the ancient winemaking techniques, and the modern tools which come together to make the classic wines of the Kakheti region. There are 525 grape varieties currently recorded in the country with over 135,000 acres under vine, 72.4% of those vines are located in Kakheti. The country of Georgia is located approximately 620 miles from Rome and size wise, it is just slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut. Despite its small size, it has a lot of neighbors that border it: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey; it also touches the Black Sea. The Kakheti wine region is located in the eastern part of Georgia with two river basins, the Ivri and Alazani, which both influence the wines. The vineyards are located at elevations of 800 to 2,600 feet with views of the Caucasus

Tasting with Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars

Rob and Bonnie Lloyd of Lloyd Cellars. Rob and Bonnie Lloyd were in Houston in November to meet with a small group of local wine media to share their story and their Lloyd Cellars wine at Savoir . The Lloyds have family in town and were here for the holidays. Their wines are currently on the shelf at Total Wines. Rob Lloyd immersed himself in wine after graduating from UC-Irvine. He moved to Napa and put his dream in motion by working harvest at Cakebread followed by a job at the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars tasting room. These experiences motivated him to go to UC- Davis to get his Masters in Enology. After graduating, he continued immersing himself in California Chardonnay with positions at La Crema and Rombauer. He would co-found JaM Cellars and be their original winemaker launching the top selling Butter Chardonnay brand. He eventually opened a consulting firm and started his own wine projects with wife, Bonnie. Bonnie Lloyd moved to San Franscico in 1996 to continue her career in

The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition Winners

This past Sunday, Taste of Italy - Houston held The Villa Sandi Houston Sommelier Competition at the Hilton Post Oak in collaboration with the Italian American Chamber of Commerce . The competition was orchestrated to help local sommeliers hone their both their service and test taking skills while showcasing their knowledge of all things wine. Competitors started with a deductive tasting and theory exam and concluded with a table service exam. The winners were announce on Monday morning at the opening of the Taste of Italy - Houston. Tony Elsinga won the top prize of $750 along with a trip to Italy. Mark Fusco was the first runner up also winning $750 and and Carlos Rosas was the second runner up earning a $500 prize. Each winner also was a gifted a jerobaum bottle of Villa Sandi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore.  The competition was originally conceived by Jaime Deleon , the Adult Beverage Sales Manager for Kroger's Houston Division and an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Mast