A different path was taken by Phil and Debra Long towards opening their own winery. For four years they operated the “Longevity Wine Club”, each month featuring wines from different appellations. They spent time on the road touring the wineries selecting the best wines for their club members. During this period they also grew in the craft of making their own wine. As winemaker Phil visited each winery for the Longevity Wine Club, he was taking notes, learning how to make wine from the winemakers.
In July 2008 Longevity Wines (the name coming from the family name Long) opened on Rickenbacker Circle, an industrial complex just off Kitty Hawk Road. This is an “urban” winery producing wines from grapes grown by other vineyards around Livermore. Winemaking is a passion for winemaker Phil Long, who is also the creative director for the retail display company Rapid Displays.
The tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday Noon to 5:00 p.m.
When Longevity began operation they produced 500 cases the first year with plans to grow to 2500 cases within five years. As this reporter visited their location he found the winemaking area compact but well used. What is immediately obvious is the passion of Phil and Debra in producing fine wines and making Longevity a success.
The Longevity 2009 Livermore Pinot Grigio is produced with grapes from Butners vineyard in Sunol. It has a pleasant light straw color with a bouquet of peaches and golden apples. On the palate you will be pleased with the nice crisp acidity and smoothness indicative of the sur lies maturation used on this wine. It has a yeasty quality blended with the fruits and acidity resulting in a well rounded wine that is a joy to taste. The price is $18.
The 2009 Midnight Syrah Rose is a very tasty rose that combines Syrah with a touch of Viognier. It is full bodied with aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry and spice. This wine should be slightly chilled. The price is $18.
Longevity 2008 Livermore Merlot is produced with fruit from a vineyard off Kalthoff Commons in Livermore. This is a luxurious Merlot with a full-body mouthfeel and flavors of red cherry, blueberry, pomegranate, spice and a hint of cocoa. This wine has multiple layers of flavors leading to a nice finish. The price is $23.
The 2008 Barbera certainly delivers the dark cherry, black plum, currant, spice and earthy qualities you expect from a fine Barbera. You will be very pleased with the complexity of the wine blending the fruity flavors, acidity and tannins that result in a smooth, firm, balanced wine. The price is $21.
Visit Longevity at their tasting room on 35 Rickenbacker Circle in Livermore.
For more information: Longevity Wines website
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