Friday, September 2, 2016

Harvest Wine Celebration showcases Livermore Valley wines

For 35 years, people have gathered in historic Livermore Valley wine country over Labor Day Weekend to enjoy the fruit of the vines. Wine lovers from around the Bay Area descend upon Livermore Valley to partake of the Harvest Wine Celebration.  Since this event is only open to ticket holders, do not miss out on this fantastic event and get your tickets now.

Harvest Wine Celebration is on Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5 between noon and 5 p.m., local wineries will offer Livermore Valley’s best wine, food, art and music to ticket holders.  Advanced tickets are $45 each (day of the event tickets are $55).  Tickets include a commemorative Livermore Valley wine glass, admission and tastings of at least two wine varietals at each of the participating wineries, parking and official event program.  Non-drinking tickets are $5.  They are available on-line at the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, and several local wineries.

On Sunday, all of the participating wineries will be featuring various events including food, music, vendors, special tastings and more.  Many of them will also have special activities on Monday in addition to the tastings.  For a list of activities at each winery and to learn which ones are accepting the wristband for Monday, please check out the Livermore Valley Winegrowers website.

For the 2016 festival, 30 wineries will host festivities at their tasting rooms across Livermore Valley, and six more wineries will be pouring at either Concannon Vineyard or Wente Vineyards on Tesla Road. All locations will offer wine tasting, fresh food vendors, local artisans and festive music. Wineries are open only to ticket holders with event wristbands.

Wineries hosting Harvest Wine Celebration festivities at their tasting room locations:
Note that this year there will not be tasting hubs at Wente and Concannon and visitors are encouraged to visit the multiple winery locations to experience the wines.  Also, the Livermore Wine Trolley is again offering shuttle service between four west-side wineries, Fenestra, Dante Robere, Las Positas and Cuda Ridge.  

For more information: or call 925-447-WINE

Blessing of the Grapes takes Livermore Valley into harvest season

As harvest begins in Livermore Valley, winemakers throughout the valley gather with local clergy in the traditional “Blessing of the Grapes” ceremony.  This year they gathered at the 3 Steves Winery on August 17 for the ceremony.  This was a great locatio overlooking the hundreds of acres of vineyards in the valley. The custom of blessing the first fruits of the harvest can be traced back to Old Testament times and has been practiced for centuries in wine producing countries around the world.  

Chris Chandler, Executive Director of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association led the event, joined with Pastor Steve Wilde of the First Presbyterian Church of Livermore, Father Mark Wiesner of St. Charles Borromeo of Livermore and Rabbi Larry Milder of Congregation Beth Emek of Pleasanton.  Each member of the clergy told about how wine and grapevines have a special meaning in religion.  

Pastor Wilde stated, “With the harvest there is a lot in which we have control and much that we don’t.  We are grateful that we live in such a beautiful valley and that wine is a central piece in the sacrifice and teachings of Jesus.”

Father Wiesner also noted the importance of wine in Jesus’ teachings stating, “One of the first signs of what Jesus can do was converting water to wine”.   Rabbi Milder pointed out that making wine is an act of faith and we thank the growers, winemakers and others in making wine and it reflects the magic of sunlight.

As the attendees gathered afterwards to celebrate with some wines and cheeses, we learned that many of them have already started the harvest and many told this reporter that they were heading to the fields afterwards to check on the ripeness of the grapes soon to be harvested.