Dinner with Livermore Valley Winemakers At BlackBarn In NYC

When people think of going to visit California for wine it’s Napa and Sonoma that gets the attention. It’s all well deserved praise, because there are some fabulous wines coming from the region. That being said, there’s another area in Cali that you should travel to. Ever hear of Livermore, California? It’s less than an hour away from San Francisco.

The region goes back to 1840 when it comes wine with the first wine grapes being planted by Robert Livermore. As the wine region developed they are the first to label bottles with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Sirah. The area had more than 50 wineries until that presky thing called Prohibition.

As of now the area is going through a renaissance with 40 plus wineries and growing. I had the pleasure of having dinner with several of the winemakers. It such a good time enjoying their stories over fabulous food from BlackBarn and sipping their wines. They are definitely my kind of people.

What was most interesting to find out is that most of the winemakers had started making wine in their garage. So, a garage is not just for tech geeks, a wine geek can create in one as well. Take that Bill Gates!

Some of the wineries at the dinner included: Wood Family Vineyards, Wente, Longevity, The Steven Kent Winery. Of course everyone has known each other for years. Some of their kids have grown up together. It was nice to see how supportive they are of each other’s wine.

You have probably heard of Wente Wines. Their Chardonnay is legendary. While some of the other wineries are smaller or not as well known, all of the wine served was on point and could hold their own with other wine regions.

Rhonda Wood of Wood Family Vineyards
( Rhonda Wood of Wood Family Vineyards)                       (Phil Long of Longevity Wines)

While Napa and Sonoma are the most talked about regions in California, you will probably have way more fun in Livermore Valley. They have a special community with a cast of characters ready to share good times and wine. For a minute they made me thinking about moving there to make wine. I decided that I’ll leave the winemaking to them and visit for the Livermore experience. Cheers!


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