The first annual Petite Sirah Weekend, July 30-31, proved to be a great success in Livermore Valley. All of Livermore Valley came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first bottling of Petite Sirah as a single varietal by Concannon Vineyard. Each winery offered Petite Sirah discounts all weekend.
The day started off with the sold-out Niles Canyon Railway “Petite Sirah on the Rails: A Historic Train Journey Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Petite Sirah” excursion along Niles Canyon. Over 125 passengers enjoyed a leisurely journey along beautiful Niles Canyon. Boarding in Niles, the restored historic train traveled along the same route as the original transcontinental railroad while passengers enjoyed Petite Sirah wines from some of the best wineries in Livermore Valley. Passengers enjoyed listening to John Concannon, fourth generation winemaker from Concannon Vineyards, as he told about the 2007 Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah. Mark Clarin of McGrail Vineyards and Winery covered what was involved in the production of the McGrail 2009 Petite Sirah, while Collin Cranor, the young winemaker from Nottingham Cellars explained what he does to make their award-winning wine. In addition the passengers enjoyed Charles R Winery 2008 Petite Sirah and finished up the travel with the Bent Creek Vineyards 2007 Petite Sirah Port. Each wine was specifically paired with a delicious appetizer.
A Proclamation by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors declared the weekend of July 30-31 as the Official Weekend of Petite Sirah on the Rails in Livermore Valley, honoring the Father of America's First Petite Sirah, Jim Concannon for his contributions to California and the industry and celebrating the true heritage grape of Livermore throughout the Valley. The Proclamation was signed by Supervisor Scott Haggerty and Supervisor Nadia Lockyer.
Later in the evening at McGrail Vineyards over 175 Petite Sirah lovers gathered for the sold-out dinner “A Celebration of Livermore’s Shining Star: Petite Sirah”. The evening started with 15 wineries provided an array of Petite Sirah from Bent Creek, Concannon, Charles R, Eagle Ridge, Fenestra, Garre, Little Valley, McGrail, Mitchell Katz, Nottingham Cellars, Occasio, Page Mill, Ruby Hill, Thomas Coyne and Wente. While the guests were enjoying the Petite Sirah, they listened to music, visited with friends and checked out the exciting items in the silent auction. Jim Concannon delighted the diners with his story of Petite Sirah and later grower Julio Covarrubias provided the view from the vineyard. Guests had a great time through the evening learning more about the great Petite Sirah, the wine of Livermore Valley, and left for home with a bounty of wine baskets, magnums and other items from the Silent Auction.
Guest enjoyed both events and are looking forward to next year.