Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Taste Our Terroir in Livermore Valley Wine Country July 26-29

Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, returns for four delectable days in 2018 as the historic region celebrates and educates wine lovers about its unique “taste of the land.” From July 26th to the 29th, Livermore Valley wineries will offer 13 different events, including the popular food and wine pairing competition, a winemaker concert, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars and vineyard tours. VIP tickets grant early access to Thursday’s food and wine pairing competition. This event has always been the greatest event of the year for the Livermore Valley Wineries.  All event tickets are on sale now at

Wine Taste Our Terroir 2018 will begin Thursday night, July 26, 6-9pm with the region’s signature event, the annual quest for food and wine pairing excellence at Casa Real in Pleasanton. Twenty Livermore Valley winemakers have partnered with Bay Area chefs to compete for honors. Experts Jim Gordon of WineEnthusiast Magazine, Ellen Fort of Eater SF and Ian White of San Francisco Magazine (see bios below) will sample the gourmet pairings in a blind tasting before awarding Most Innovative Pairing, Judges’ Best Pairing and Best Classic Pairing. 

Guests will have the opportunity to taste the 20 pairings, bid on luxurious silent auction items, enjoy decadent desserts presented by Sysco and cast two votes in the People’s Choice competition for the best red and white wine pairings. VIP tickets ($125 until sold out) include a sparkling wine reception at 4:30pm with wineries pouring on the patio and access to the pairings at 5pm (one hour early). General admission tickets are $85 in advance and $95 after July 1st at This event sells out every year—there will be no tickets available at the door. 

Pairings this year for The Quest for Pairing Excellence are:

  • Concannon Vineyard | The Last Word
  • Dante Robere Vineyards | Scott Wall Chef & Culinary Consultant
  • Eagle Ridge Vineyard | Terra Mia
  • Garré Vineyard and Winery | Garré Café
  • Las Positas Vineyards | Zephyr Grill & Bar
  • Leisure Street Winery | Casse-Croute Bakery
  • Longevity Wines | Backdoor Bistro 
  • McGrail Vineyards | Attraversiamo
  • McKahn Family Cellars | The Banks Vault
  • Mitchell Katz Winery | Atria Senior Living
  • Murrieta's Well | Murrieta's Well Culinary Team
  • Nella Terra Cellars | On the Vine Catering
  • Nottingham Cellars | Hop Devine
  • Omega Road Winery | The Cooperative 
  • Page Mill Winery | Millennium Restaurant
  • Retzlaff Vineyards | Salt Craft
  • The Steven Kent Winery | Sabio on Main
  • Wente Vineyards | The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
  • Winemaker's Studio | The Grill at Wente Vineyards
  • Wood Family Vineyards | First Street Ale House

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Visit for tickets and details on all events, which include: 

Friday, July 27 

WENTE LUNCH IN THE GARDEN 10:30am-1pm at Wente Vineyards Join Wente Vineyards Winemakers and Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk as they take you through an experience like none other. Sip on wines created from the very vines you are standing among as you are guided though the vineyards. Afterwards, rest your feet and feast on a delectable meal made with fresh ingredients from Wente Vineyards' on-site organic herb and vegetable garden. [$115] -more- 

COOKING WITH CHEF CHAD WELSH 12pm-2pm at Mitchell Katz Winery Meet us at Mitchell Katz winery for a food curing demo by Chef Chad Welsh. Chef will present a live demonstration on how to cure two different varieties of Salmon; one with fresh dill and black pepper, and one with beets that give the fish a great color. [$50] 

WINEMAKER CONCERT WITH MARK CLARIN AND DANE STARK 6-9pm at Chandler Vineyards Join us for a special night at Chandler Vineyards. Experience the terroir of the vineyard through a rare comparative tasting of Page Mill Winery and McGrail Vineyards’ Chandler Vineyard Chardonnay wines. Winemakers Mark Clarin and Dane Stark will share their musical talents throughout the evening. Spend your night wine tasting, dancing and dining on delicious hors d’oeuvres. [$100] 

A WELL AGED EVENING 7-9pm at Rios Lovell Estate Winery Banquet Hall Guests will begin the evening in the banquet hall of Rios Lovell Estate Winery with a short lecture dedicated to Ports and Port making. The night will continue with Port tastings from the barrel, paired with delicious chocolates and an array of fine cheese. [$45] 

Saturday, July 28 

YOGA IN THE VINEYARD 10am-12pm at Retzlaff Vineyards Lawn Start your morning off with some relaxing Yoga on the lawn at Retzlaff Vineyards. Your yoga instructor will guide you through an hour of stretches, followed by a tasting of wines from Retzlaff Vineyards, Page Mill Winery, Nella Terra Cellars, Omega Road Winery and Nottingham Cellars. Guests are asked to bring their own mat, towel and water. [$30] 

BEES AND BEADS AT EL SOL WINERY 1:30-3:30pm at El Sol Winery Join the Sol Sisters at el Sol Winery for a fun and creative jewelry making experience—all skill levels welcome. Tools and supplies provided for you to make your choice of a lariat, choker, bracelet or earrings. After handcrafting your jewelry, enjoy honey tasting and bee keeping demonstrations with a live, working colony. [$45] 

CONCANNON VINEYARD’S 135TH ANNIVERSARY LANDMARK TOUR 4-6pm at Concannon Vineyard Join Fourth Generation Vintner John Concannon for this fun and fascinating winery experience which includes a walking tour of the stunning 135-year-old landmark vineyard estate and unique topiaries that Ernesto, chief landscaper, has been carefully curating for over thirty years. You will enjoy a special tasting of four award-winning Reserve wines while learning why Concannon is a wine pioneer in California Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Complete this memorable tasting experience in a historic setting where Estate Sommelier LeeAnn Kaufman will guide you through a featured wine paired with an exquisitely prepared, small bite. [$55] 

FROM PAST TO PRESENT, A SPIRITS TASTING 6-7:30pm Step back into the 1800s with a live and educational demonstration of the process of spirit distillation. Eckert Estate Winery and Artisan Spirits invite you to engage in a historical overview of the distilling process of brandy, gin, absinthe and liqueur productions. Admire rustic 100-year-old props and tools that were used to produce a number of unique spirits and partake in three different aroma bars and tastings. Challenge your palate in a new way, and see which spirit is your favorite. [$40] -more- 

SUNSET LOBSTER DINNER 6:30-8:30pm at Darcie Kent Vineyards Start your evening by sampling Livermore Valley award winning wines from Darcie Kent Vineyards, McKahn Family Cellars, Fenestra Winery, Wente Vineyards and Page Mill Winery while watching the preparation of a typical East Coast Lobster Bake. The table will be filled with fresh Maine lobster, prawns, sausage, corn on the cob, garlic, artichokes, potatoes, bread and lots of butter. Put on your lobster bib and dig in! [$115] 

Sunday, July 24 

BOOTS ON THE GROUND, WINE IN YOUR GLASS 10am-12pm at Murrieta's Well Guests will experience true "boots on the ground" hiking through the vineyards at Murrieta's Well. Wear your hiking boots or a pair of comfortable walking shoes and get ready to see some amazing views of the Livermore Valley. After the hike, guests will taste through estate-grown wines and sample some small bites from the Murrieta's Well culinary team. [$75] 

MICROCLIMATE TASTING OF LIVERMORE VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON 1:30-3:30pm at The Steven Kent Winery Experience a rare micro climate comparative tasting of cabernet sauvignon in The Steven Kent Winery Reserve Room. Multiple Livermore Valley Wineries will be pouring their cabernets for you to sample side by side. Join us to decide which microclimate terroir your palate prefers. [$65] 

A LITTLE TASTE OF ITALY 3-5pm at Garré Vineyard and Winery Conclude your weekend with an escape to Italy. Garré Vineyard and Winery is hosting an afternoon featuring special Italian varietal wines, bocce ball and antipasto prepared by Garré Café. You will sample wines from Garré Vineyard, Charles R Vineyards, Rios Lovell Estate Winery, Rodrigue Molyneaux and Mitchell Katz Winery. The event will be located outside near Garré’s picnic tables and Bocce Ball Courts. [$55] 

Taste Our Terroir 2018 Judges: 

Jim Gordon – Contributing Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine Jim Gordon has been covering the wine industry as an editor and reporter for more than thirty years. Gordon is a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine and past director of the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley. 

Ellen Fort – Eater SF A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone campus, Ellen has spent time learning from some of the best wine educators in the country, and working in Napa tasting rooms. She is the editor for Eater SF, covering restaurant and food news in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Ian White – Wine Director, Modern Luxury San Francisco Ian began his career in the wine industry as the Wine Country Director for 7x7 Magazine. He launched and authored 7x7's "Wine Insider Blog" and developed marketing campaigns. Currently, he is the Wine Director for Modern Luxury San Francisco magazine.