Sunday, September 27, 2009

Little Valley Winery – follow the White Rabbit to Pleasanton

Little Valley Winery, located in downtown Pleasanton, is home of the White Rabbit labeled wines and as they say, “Follow the White Rabbit to Downtown Pleasanton”. Founders Sandi Bohner and Bill Webster have been involved in small businesses for many years. Sandi has been an outside sales manager for an espresso roasting firm, has started several small cafes in the area and has been an events and wedding coordinator for a winery in Livermore Valley. Bill has been the vice president of business development and engineering for a number of Bay Area technology firms.

They got into the winemaking business in 2003 when they opened the Little Valley Vineyard Espresso Bar and Tasting Room across the street from the Sunol station, where Jazz Sandwich Shop now sits. Here they served up a selection of wines including a California Sparkling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel in addition to espresso, coffees, smoothies, muffins and scones. Every Saturday night they provided their customers with music including top notch blues and folk groups. And working with local artists and artisans they displayed their work in the shop.

At the same time they were running the shop in Sunol they were operating their small winery in Livermore. Recently they moved to their new location in downtown Pleasanton. Pleasanton has a great little downtown with foot traffic for the local eateries, shops and bars. They recently finished their new outdoor seating area and celebrated their grand opening!

In addition to winemaking, Sandi and Bill are owners of Rancho Alegre Lavender. Their three acre farm is home to over 4000 English lavenders and popular hybrids, Provence for culinary use and Grosso which is used for essential oils and a wide range of natural home, spa and pet products. A couple years ago, they visited Rancho Alegre to purchase some soaps and sachets for their shop and ended up buying the whole business.

Little Valley Winery California Raspberry Sparkling Wine is infused with Raspberry juice after fermentation. It exhibits a nose of lots of Raspberry flavor with a bit of jasmine on the palate. It pairs great with a Humboldt Fog cheese and is just a great summer evening drinking wine.

Their California Chardonnay is a unoaked Chardonnay where you get to taste the fruit instead of the oak; it is fruit forward with great acidity and the citrus and sour apple flavors you expect. It has a nice smooth finish and will pair well with Tuna, Halibut, Shrimp or a crisp salad.

Little Valley 2005 Livermore Valley Petite Sirah is a very special wine with an intense nose of bright dark fruit with earthy overtones. As you taste this wine you get a mouthful of ripe fruit and plum and spice with the earthiness you expect from a Petite Sirah

Be sure to stop by their shop at 739 Main Street in Pleasanton. This is a great shop to visit, not only for the delicious wines, but check out their Lavender products and other gift items. They can also arrange private tastings, catering, wedding and anniversary parties and more.

For more info: Little Valley Winery Website

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