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Livermore Valley is the Bay Area neighborhood wine region but rich in history

Updated: May 28

On November 12 the wineries of Livermore Valley gathered at the St. Regis Hotel for a unique tasting showcasing some of Livermore Valley’s finest wines. Livermore Valley is a historic highlight in the wine industry in California. It is one of California's oldest wine regions, earning its American Viticultural Area (AVA) status in 1982. The valley played a pivotal role in shaping California's wine industry.

  • Closest wine region to the Bay Area and surrounded by 7.5 million people – Livermore Valley, 25 miles from downtown San Francisco

  • Oldest continuously owned and operated family winery –Wente Vineyards of Livermore Valley founded in 1883

    • America’s oldest ongoing winery under same family name – Concannon Vineyard of Livermore Valley founded in 1883

    • Member of America’s oldest winemaking family (Mirassou Winery founded in 1854) – Steven Mirassou of Steven Kent Winery in Livermore Valley

  • Winner of the first international gold medal for wine at Paris Exposition – Charles Wetmore of Cresta Blanca Winery in Livermore brings home the Grand Prize (87 years prior to the Judgment of Paris tasting)

  • First bottling of Chardonnay labeled wine – Wente Winery

  • Genetic roots for 80% of all Chardonnay vines in California – Wente Winery Wente clone

  • Genetic roots for about 80% of California Cabernet Sauvignon vines – Concannon Winery Concannon clone

  • First bottling of Petite Sirah labeled wine – Concannon Winery

Karen MacNeil author of “Wine Bible” says that Livermore Valley is, “The combination of bright light, heat and strong winds, followed by nighttime cooling, plus the valley’s shallow soil, is reminiscent of parts of southern France.”

Spanish missionaries planted the first wine grapes in the Livermore Valley in the 1760s. In the 1840s, California pioneers looking for outstanding vineyard sites began planting grapes in the region. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore recognized the area's winegrowing potential and founded their wineries in the early 1880s.

Less than an hour east of San Francisco, Livermore Valley Wine Country welcomes visitors with a flourish expanse of vineyards, wineries, and wine country experiences. Amid picturesque canyons, ridges and outposts of suburbia, the lush vines and convivial tasting rooms increasingly define the quality of life in the valley. To the delight of residents and visitors alike, the region is enjoying a wine renaissance harking back to the golden years of early California wine history.

Attracted to the rich winemaking tradition, climate, soil and geography, new winemakers and vineyardists are working alongside fifth generation winegrowers to create this Livermore Valley wine renaissance. The region now has over 50 wineries, with several more about to open, and more than 5,000 acres of vineyards. Wineries vary in size from limited release, 100-case labors of love to 400,000-case industry heavyweights, and grapes range from familiar Merlot and Chardonnay to Italian, Rhone and Spanish varieties. Welcoming tasting rooms showcase award-winning wines and offer year around activities. In addition to the myriad happenings at individual wineries, the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association sponsors several consumer events each year, showcasing the talent, energy and fine wines of the region.

Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association

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