Saturday, March 17, 2012

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Roll Out Their Barrels –March 31-April 1

Taste wines in development and save a bundle on your favorites at the fourth annual Barrel Tasting Weekend March 31 and April 1 in Livermore Valley wine country, your local wine region. Winemakers have announced their plans for their annual Barrel Tasting Weekend. Thirty-five wineries located less than an hour from San Francisco or Silicon Valley will offer samples direct from their barrels from noon to 4:30 each day. Guests will have the opportunity to pre-purchase many of the barrel wines at a discount, a practice known as buying “futures.” Most winemakers will be present to personally pour and discuss their young wines and offer delicious pairings with gourmet appetizers.

One of California’s most accessible, affordable and approachable wine regions, Livermore Valley is the home of McGrail Vineyards & Winery, winner of the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition’s Red Sweepstakes award. Wente Family Estates of Livermore Valley was just named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Chardonnay.

Barrel Tasting Weekend provides wine enthusiasts of all experience levels with a fun “snapshot” of how wine evolves—from grape to glass. More than a dozen varietals, including the rare Primitivo and Alicante Bouschet and ever-popular Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, will be presented for tasting across Livermore Valley. Guests with special event wristbands and official glasses will receive at least one barrel sample at each participating winery. Many will give discounts on wine purchases to ticket holders only.
Examples of special events and wines to be tasted include:
  • Cedar Mountain Winery: A unique barrel tasting event with at least one barrel sample for each ticket holder.  Sample the 2009 Syrah paired with Bissinger’s Raspberry Creams.
  • Charles R Vineyards: Compare 2010 Petite Sirah from the barrel with 2008 Petite Sirah in the bottle. 20% discount on two or more bottles of 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Rustic wood oven pizzas are available for sale by Tutte Al Forno.
  • Cuda Ridge Wines: Barrel tasting of the 2010 Petit Verdot, 2010 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Syrah.  Posada’s Catering will have contemporary Southwestern plates for purchase.  Live music on both days.
  • Darcie Kent Vineyards: Barrel samples of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Madden Ranch). Specials include 25% off bottles for club members, 15% off bottles for non-members. Live music 1-4pm and food demonstrations at 12:30pm and 2pm both days. Food is available for sale at Underdog Wine Bar.
  • Las Positas Vineyards: Barrel tasting 2010 and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Charlie Kidd will discuss the varietals that made Livermore Valley famous while walking in the vineyards. In the winery, learn about the growing and production of Petite Sirah. Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen of Livermore will sell exotic foods made from certified organic ingredients with no preservatives.
  • McGrail Vineyards and Winery: Taste their special barrel tasting blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with 1/3 French oak, 1/3 Hungarian oak, and 1/3 American oak. Challenge your senses with the Aroma game! Smell 10 common wine aromas blindly and see how many you get correct. Live music on Saturday! Soleil Pizza will be selling wood-fired gourmet pizza all weekend!  
  • Nottingham Cellars:  Tasting of their 2010 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  We will also be hosting Wine Barrel Education Seminars Both Days at 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm.
  • Occasio Winery:  Barrel samples of the Cabernet Franc
  • Rodrique Molyneaux Winery: Taste the 2010 and 2011 from the barrel
  • Rios-Lovell Estate Winery: Barrel samples of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and several ports. Specials are 20% off wine purchases. Meet the winemaker both days 12-4:30pm.
  • Wente Vineyards:  Unwind after the barrel tasting weekend at Wente Estate Winery with wine and live music, 4:30 to 6:30.
  • Wood Family Vineyards:  Barrel tasting 2010 Petite Sirah and Zinfandel with Barf’s Blazin Q BBQ to pair with the wine. 
Livermore Valley’s Barrel Tasting Weekend will take place Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1, noon to 4:30 each day. Advance tickets are $30, available  Tickets purchased at the event will be $35 per person. Each ticket includes a souvenir tasting glass featuring the Livermore Valley Wine Country logo, two days of barrel tasting at participating wineries, special activities, discounts and an event map.
Participating wineries include:
  • Bent Creek Winery
  • Big White House
  • Bodegas Aguirre Winery
  • Cedar Mountain Winery
  • Charles R Vineyards
  • Concannon Vineyard
  • Crooked Vine Winery
  • Cuda Ridge Wines
  • Darcie Kent Vineyards
  • Eagle Ridge Vineyard
  • Eckert Estate Winery
  • el Sol Winery
  • Fenestra Winery
  • Garre' Vineyard & Winery
  • John Evan Cellars
  • Las Positas Vineyards
  • Les Chênes Estate Vineyards
  • Longevity Wines
  • McGrail Vineyards & Winery
  • Mitchell Katz Winery
  • Murrieta’s Well
  • Nottingham Cellars
  • Occasio Winery
  • Page Mill Winery
  • Retzlaff Estate Winery
  • Rios-Lovell Estate Winery
  • Rodrigue Molyneaux
  • Ruby Hill Winery
  • Stony Ridge Winery
  • Tamás Estates
  • The Steven Kent Winery
  • Wente Vineyards
  • Westover Winery & Event Center
  • White Crane Winery
  • Wood Family Vineyards
For more information:

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