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Livermore Valley wine tasting was probably the highlight of my recent trip to the Tri-Valley area in Northern California but there is so much more to do! The Tri-Valley is made up of the cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and the town of Danville and 3 valleys. Livermore being the most populous. My partners at Visit Tri-Valley and the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association got together to create an amazing itinerary for my trip and I was able to squeeze so much in (especially thanks to the Taste our Terroir event) but I can’t wait to go back to visit more wineries in the area. Be sure to scroll all the way down for a gallery of photos from the trip!
Livermore Wine Tasting
If you’re visiting the area with friends, your partner/spouse, or with the whole family, there are so many great options for wine tasting. Definitely check the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association calendar to see if there are any events happening during your visit because they are a great way to get to know local wineries and the area. If you don’t have Labor Day plans – check out their Harvest Wine Celebration coming up on September 2nd!
I was there during their Taste Our Terroir weekend which was packed with fun events. The “BIG” one being the Taste Our Terroir Pairing Competition where local wineries and chefs teamed up to compete for the best food and wine pairings. There were awards for best classic pairing, most innovative, judge’s best, and people’s choice red & white pairings. It was fun to taste all the pairings and vote for our favorites, plus it was a perfect place to sample SO many local wines and food.
I voted for McGrail Vineyards and Winery and Attraversiamo for their 2017 McGrail Vineyards Kylie Ryan Rose & Mexican Street Corn pairing for the white (which won People’s Choice). For the red pairing I voted for McKahn Family Cellars 2016 Petite Sirah paired with
The Banks Vault’s seared venison chops with portobello mushrooms, red onion sauté, and truffle oil.
As for wine tasting, I did get a chance to visit several spots and wanted to share some favorites from each if you are planning a visit. Be sure to check websites and calendars before visiting and know that some will definitely require reservations in advance while some are great to pop into whenever you have a chance!
Wente actually has several options for tastings, classes, tours and experiences. I got the chance to participate in their Black Glass Wine Tasting and it was SO much fun. You get to taste wines without being able to see it AT ALL. You couldn’t tell if it was even red or white! I learned so much about wine tasting and it would be a fantastic way to start a trip.
Murrieta’s Well has a gorgeous historic estate with some great tasting options. This was definitely a popular weekend spot when we were there for a wine and food experience that includes a tour of the estate. Great wine, great food, and live music – no wonder it is a favorite!
Darcie Kent Vineyards
When I think of Darcie Kent Vineyards I think of PURPLE! Their tasting room and art gallery is a beautiful way to taste their wines whether you’re outside or inside. I love that they had some charitable options while I was there as well!
Cuda Ridge Wines
Cuda Ridge Wines has such a fun story. Their wines totally speak for themselves and they have a nice easy-going tasting room that was hopping while we were there! They had a Petit Verdot and Cab Franc that I really loved!
I had the pleasure of participating in morning yoga at Retzlaff as part of a Taste our Terroir event. They have a beautiful picnic area under 100 year old pepper trees and have some great entertainment options in the summer.
Concannon has a large gorgeous property with a newly updated picnic area. I LOVE their outdoor area that’s perfect to relax with the family (they even have some lawn games) or friends. Check out their site for more info on policies and booking tastings.
Things to do in the Tri-Valley Area
There is so much to do in the Tri-Valley area outside of wine tasting. Here are just some of the things I got to experience as well as some ideas on my list for when I return:
- Blackhawk Museum – I had the chance to get a tour of this incredible collection that my family would LOVE to visit the next time we’re in town. From a gorgeous classic car gallery (that’s always changing) to an incredible room dedicated to presenting a balanced narrative of both Native Americans and American Settlers called “Spirit of the Old West” and more, this is definitely a great family spot. They even offer free docent guided tours.
- Food – SO many great food options in the area including Danville Harvest, Bridges (you know the restaurant from Mrs. Doubtfire?!), and Sauced BBQ.
- Ice Cream Trail that benefits the local humane society (I LOVE this)
- Bike Trails
I stayed at the Hawthorne Suites in Livermore and it was the perfect home base! Recently renovated the rooms were great, they have all the amenities you need and the employees were ALL so nice and welcoming. With great prices, you really can’t go wrong. I definitely recommend it!
We were driven around by Black Tie Transportation and I honestly don’t remember the last time I was so impressed with a transportation service. Every employee we encountered was exceptional, their vehicles were great and it was overall just a fantastic experience the entire weekend.
I fell in love with this area of California that I, honestly, didn’t know existed a couple of years ago. Thinking it’s time to plan another trip!