Friday, December 4, 2009

Deer Ridge Winery - a winery estate and gathering place in Livermore

Deer Ridge Vineyards calls themselves a winery estate and gathering place. This is a new winery built upon some of the most historic land in Livermore Valley. The Deer Ridge winery and visitor center are on a portion of the old Wetmore Ranch, historic home of the old Cresta Blanca Winery founded by Charles Wetmore and later run by his brother Clarence Wetmore.

Carl and Cherie Lyle, owners of Deer Ridge, were first introduced to winemaking by friends in Calistoga. At the time Carl was a venture capitalist specializing in high tech startups, and Cherie was a master gardener with administrative and event planning background. Deer Ridge was originally a venture capitalist investment, but Carl fell in love with winemaking so he walked away from the venture capitalist world and invest his time in a more creative venture and winemaking was that dream.

He searched around California looking for the ideal spot to start his winery. He found the 30 acre dream vineyard at the corner of Wetmore and Arroyo. This same land was the same land that Charles Wetmore grew wine that won the 1889 Grand Prize at the Paris Exposition, the first California winery to win such an award, almost 100 years before the Judgment of Paris featured in the movie “Bottleshock”.

Carl and Cherie planted their vineyards in 2000. The first crush was in 202 and the Cabernet Sauvignon that year won a double gold medal and the awards continued since. The new tasting room and event center opened in 2007. The beautiful Tuscan style facility is a very popular place for weddings and other events. It houses a large hall and both indoor and outdoor facilities for weddings.

Deer Ridge 2007 Private Reserve Chardonnay is the blending of three differently styled Chardonnay wines from the Deer Ridge vineyards, crafting a mid-weight, bright, fruit-forward and delicious wine. This wine pairs well with sweet salads, chicken, salmon and cheese-based pasta dishes. Taste it along with a Fiscallini Bandaged Wrapped mild Cheddar cheese. The fruitiness and acidity of the wine goes well with this cheese.

The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown is a rich wine with dark berries bouquet, following by black cherry, currant and spice in the mouth with a full body texture leading to a long fruity finish. This is a great food wine in addition to a joy to drink after a long day. Try it with a grilled steak or prime rib. It has won many awards.

In addition to the Reserve Chardonnay Deer Ridge offers a variety of excellent wines at their tasting room, including Barbera, Zinfandel, Syrah (including a Syrah Rose), a Bordeaux blend called Moonstruck and a Chardonnay Port. All of the wines are from Livermore fruit.

Be sure to visit Deer Ridge beautiful tasting room at 1828 Wetmore Road near Arroyo. They always have great wines to sample while you roam through the facility viewing the wonderful art work displayed in the building.

For more info: Deer Ridge Winery

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