The “Other” Wine Country – Livermore Valley

By: Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

In Northern California, the world’s attention is on the Napa and Sonoma wine regions. Each wine region in the United States has an appellation designation; Napa, Sonoma, Willamette Valley, etc. Well, there is another wine region / appellation in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area – the Livermore Valley.  You can be wine tasting at 67 different wineries within 25 minutes from Danville. Continue reading

East Bay Real Estate: Livermore Valley – The Other Wine Country!

Did you know that one of California’s top wine regions is only a 25 minute ride from Danville, California and has over 40 wineries producing world class wines?  Livermore grapes were first planted in the 19th century with Cresta Blanca Winery , founded in 1882, and one of the first wineries in the Valley.  Cresta Blanca Winery was also the first California wine to win a Grand Prix at the 1889 Paris Exposition – the first California wine to win a competition in France.  The Wente family purchased Cresta Blanca years ago, and is now the location of their Sparkling Wine Center, restaurant, golf course, and the location for their Summer concert series.

Did you know that in the early 1960s, Livermore had as much land under grape vine as Napa Valley did at that time.  However, it has never had the status of Napa and Sonoma.  Wente Vineyards has long been the largest producer in the Livermore Valley,  making around 300,000 cases of wine annually, much of it for export.  It was first established in the valley in 1883. The next largest producer, Concannon Vineyard, makes around 30,000 cases per year. The remainder of today’s wineries are all small family owned boutique style producers. Continue reading

East Bay Real Estate: 21st Annual Blackhawk Food, Wine & Film Festival!

For the past 21 years our Danville/Sycamore Rotary Club has presented the best party of the year in the East Bay – The Blackhawk Food, Wine & Film Festival.  Well over $500,000 have been raised and re-invested back into the needs of our communities over the past 21 years.  The event is May 5th starting at 5:30pm and the location is at the Blackhawk Auto Museum with the Livermore Valley Wine Growers wineries, ( Bodegas Aguirre Winery one of my favorites.),  and the world class restaurants of our Valley, with The Peasant & The Pear and Piatti’s as just two of the many restaurants you will love.  The wineries and restaurants will be your host before the big screen movie, Casablanca, is previewed.  There are also amazing auction items for the limited guest list of 600.  The event is always a sellout, so if you would like to make a tax deductible donation of $40 to the DSV Rotary Club Foundation a pass will be waiting for you at the door.  If for some reason you are not able to join us your tax deductible donation will be put to good use.  MAIL IT TODAY! Jim Walberg, 760 Camino Ramon, Suite 200,  Danville, CA  94526.  I hope to see you there!

Top East Bay Winery Hits A Home Run With Their Zinfandel!

Bodegas Aguirre Winery in Livermore has already risen to the top of the wine industry lists!
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What a wonderful surprise is awaiting you on Tesla Road in the Livermore wine region of the East Bay. You are going to discover what one of my real estate clients has created from just a dream twelve years ago to one of the top wineries in the East Bay – Bodegas Aguirre Winery.
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The owner of this award winning winery is Dr. Ricardo Aguirre and his lovely wife, Margarita. Dr. Aguirre is a surgeon at Valley Care Medical Center in Pleasanton, California. Their daughter, Sylvia, and her husband, Victor, are the winery managers. Plus, they have a great staff hosting their weekend wine tasting which are always unforgettable. Can you tell I am a raving fan of this winery and the product they are producing? Well, I am. ( Some of

you remember that I used to write a wine article in the local East Bay newspapers highlighting my special discoveries, so it is not unusual that I continue my wine detective work every chance I can.)
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What started out as a hobby for Dr. Aguirre has turned into a remarkable success story. He is a self-taught wine maker after taking a winemaking course at the University of California – Davis. He planted 12 acres of grapes in 1995 which included Cabernet and Merlot, and then purchased seven

more acres the following year and planted Petite Sirah. Every aspect of the winery – from growing the grapes to blending and bottling the wines has Dr. Aguirre’s finger prints all over it.
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Bodegas Aguirre Winery bottles over ten different wines – all reds except for the knockout Chardonnay that is currently in the barrels for release next year; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Trio, Postre (desert wine), Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Merlot Reserva, Petite Sirah Reserva, and Castello Nuovo. “The Petite Sirah is our signature wine. The Petite Sirah recently won a “ten best” award for overall wines, while the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were finalists. ( I just joined their wine club after barrel tasting their latest Zin and Chardonnay.)
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Here is what Laura Ness, a national wine reviewer had to say during her visit to Bodegas Aguirre Winery, “His first vintage – the 2002 Petite Syrah Reserva – was rated #1 at the Tri-Valley Wine Competition. He hit a bulls eye with this one. If you’re looking for a classic “black and blue” pie in your face wine, this will be your next best friend.”
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One of the most unique labels in the Livermore wine region is on all of their bottles. It was inspired by a painting that Dr. Aguirre owns. The artist is Carlos Canas from El Salvador who was a protégé of Pablo Picasso. Not only is the wine a work of art, but their labels are the perfect accent for what you will discover in each of the bottles. Stop by some weekend and be prepared to taste great wines and to even bring some home. Let me know what you discover.