Sunday, July 17, 2011

Petite Sirah on the Rails celebrating 50 years of Petite Sirah in Livermore Valley

Livermore Valley is one of the most historic wine regions in the state and was the birthplace fifty years ago of the popular varietal, Petite Sirah. Livermore Valley wine history will blend with Niles Canyon Railway history to celebrate “Petite Sirah on the Rails” on Saturday, July 30, 2011. The two-hour train ride leaves Niles at 3:30pm sharp; tickets are $45/person (21 and over, please).

Niles Canyon Railway began before the transcontinental railroad. By 1869, with the completion of the transcontinental railway, the route through Niles Canyon linked San Francisco Bay to the rest of the country. On July 30, guests will board a restored vintage train and sample five special Petite Sirahs from some of the best winemakers in the Valley including Concannon Vineyard, Nottingham Cellars, McGrail Vineyards, Charles R Vineyards and Bent Creek Winery. Each wine will be paired with a delicious hors d’oeuvre or cheese as wine educator Steve Ferree shares the history of Livermore Valley wines, especially Petite Sirah. Fourth generation vintner John Concannon, Concannon Vineyard, Collin Cranor of Nottingham Cellars, and Mark Clarin of McGrail Vineyards will give further insight into the popularity of Petite Sirah in today’s wine landscape.

July 30-31 will be “Petite Sirah weekend” throughout Livermore Valley.  Following the “Petite Sirah on the Rails” train excursion on Saturday, the public is invited to “A Celebration of Livermore’s Shining Star: Petite Sirah!” buffet dinner at McGrail Vineyards (separate ticket). More local winemakers will be joining us at McGrail to show off the many Petite Sirahs and other wines available in Livermore Valley. In addition, several Livermore Valley wineries will feature specials on their Petite Sirah that weekend.

Tickets for the “Petite Sirah on the Rails” are available at For information about “An Celebration of Livermore’s Shining Star: Petite Sirah,” go to
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