Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Forgotten Grand Prize Award.

Most people reading this blog have probably seen the movie "Bottle Shock" released in 2008. Everyone hailed the wineries this movie was based loosely on, Chateau Montelena and Stags Leap, for winning gold medals in 1976 at the "Judgment of Paris" blind tasting for their 1973 Chardonnay and 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon respectively.

However, in 1889 at the Paris Exposition. Charles A. Wetmore won the Grand Prize award for his wine, Cresta Blanca Sauternes, from his Cresta Blanca Winery in Livermore, CA. Adrian Chauche’s Livermore Valley Monte-Rouge Vineyard and Winery was also awarded a gold medal. Sadly as with many old wineries, Cresta Blanca and Monte-Rouge Vineyard and Winery, stopped producing wine as prohibition was passed in 1919.  
Monte-Rouge Vineyard and Winery burned in 1931. Cresta Blanca stands today as the Wente Vineyards and is registered as a California Historical Landmark #586.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's happening this weekend in Livermore Wine Country

This is the last weekend to purchase your holiday wine. Here are a few places you might consider making your selection.

Vino Acoustico
Date & Time: Friday, December 16, 2011 (5:30 - 8pm)
Who: Page Mill Winery
Where: 1960 S. Livermore Ave, Livermore, CA, 94550
Cost: $15.00
Come unwind after a crazy week with some wine and snacks and Live Music by KNR band. $10.00 for Underground Wine Club Members or $15.00 for non members

Sparkling Wine on Sale at Ruby Hill Winery
Date & Time: Friday, December 16, 2011 - Saturday, December 31, 2011 (11am - 5:30pm)
Who: Ruby Hill Winery
Where: 400 Vineyard Ave., Livermore Valley, Pleasanton, CA, 94566
Just in time for Holiday Entertaining! California Sparkling Wine from Ruby Hill Winery Special Holiday Pricing: $11/bottle Case Discount of 10%--you may combine with other wines Club Discounts still apply Open Christmas Even 11am-3pm Open New Year's Eve 11am - 4pm Cheers!

Sparkling Wine Release & Tasting
Date & Time: Saturday, December 17, 2011 (12 - 4:30pm)
Who: Page Mill Winery
Where: 1960 S. Livermore Ave, Livermore, CA, 94550
Cost: $5.00
Come taste our fabulous new sparkling wine made at Page Mill Winery using the Methode Champenoise process! This brut will be part of a special tasting on Saturday ONLY!

New Release an
d wood fired pizza
Date & Time: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - Saturday, December 17, 2011 (12 - 5pm)
Who: Nottingham Cellars

Where: 2245 S. Vasco Rd. Unit C, , Livermore, CA, 94550.
Be the first to try our 2009 Ralphi s Red Blend! The 2008 Ralphi's which scored 89 Points in Wine Enthusiast and won several medals is nearly sold out! The 2009 picks up right where the 07 and the 08 left off!!! We will also have Ken's Wood Fired Pizza here cooking delicious pizza for you to purchase.

2009 Thatcher Bay Vineyard Merlot Release Weekend
Date & Time: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - Sunday, December 18, 2011 (12 - 5pm)
Who: Occasio Winery
Where: 2245B South Vasco Road, Livermore, CA, 94550
Cost: $5.00
Join us for the public release of our 2009 Thatcher Bay Merlot, just in time for the Holidays. Plus, experience the wonders of Ken's Wood-Fired Pizzas, baked onsite!

Date & Time: Sunday, December 18, 2011 (12 - 4:30pm)
Who: Page Mill Winery
Where: 1960 S. Livermore Ave, Livermore, CA, 94550
Bring your empty wine bottles and we will fill them with a Cabernet Franc/Petite Sirah blend for just $8.49 each! Don't have empty bottles? We can provide them for just .50 cents. Rinse bottles with hot water, NO SOAP and we'll do the rest! BYOB is the 3rd Sunday of each month and features a different wine each time.

Complimentary Member's Barrel Tasting
Date & Time: Sunday, December 18, 2011 (1 - 4pm)
Who: Occasio Winery
Where: 2245B South Vasco Road, Livermore, CA, 94550
Join us as we celebrate year end at the winery, and look back at past vintages with a barrel tasting of Cabernets from some of our favorite vineyards, as well as preview some special future releases.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Evening with Boa Venture de Caires winemaker Brett Caires

I just got the lowdown on the pairing tonight.

Evening with the Winemaker
Brett de Caires
BoaVentura de Caires Winery

Tonight 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

First Pairing
BoaVentura de Caires 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
with Margherita pizza

Second Pairing
Boa Ventura de Caires 2008 "mutt" red wine
with JR's Turkey Chili topped with Blue Cheese crumble

Third Pairing
BoaVentura de Caires 2010 White table wine
with brie and apricot chutney.

This will be a live Webcast.

Evening with the Winemaker - Live Webcast

Brett de Caires, winemaker, from Boa Ventura Winery in livermore, CA will be at the Winemaker's Pourhouse tonight. He will be discussing his wines and will pour samples. This will be a live Webcast for those who are not in the area.

If you go:
The Winemaker's PourHouse
2241 First Street in downtown Livermore, California Map

Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

Live Webcast

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wine American Style

This holiday season there has been a lot of talk about buy "American and create jobs". ABC World News had a on going special on this to show that when people bought products from American companies that they featured it would create jobs. Evidently it did.

With that said, buy wine from your local winery. It's made in America and most often it's a small business. You can search for a local winery near you here.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tis The Season.

Holiday activities in the Livermore Wine Country this weekend.
Vendors, carolers, arts and crafts and of course great wine.

For a concise list of all the actives click here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Forget Black Friday. Thanksgiving weekend events in the Livermore Valley Wine Country

Thanksgiving Weekend Treats!
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 (12 - 5pm)
Who:Eckert Estate Winery
Where: 2400 Arroyo Road, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Join us all three days of the Thanksgiving weekend to give thanks for great wine! Taste our new wine releases - 2010 Chardonnay, 2007 Estate Cabernet, and 2009 Livermore Zinfandel - plus our other 5 wines on the tasting list for your tasting pleasure. Big sale on all white wines and the Malbec! Taste the newly pressed olive oil, fresh truffles, great wines, fresh mustards - hey, what are you waiting for?

Black Friday at Garre
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 (11:30am - 5pm)
Who:Garre' Vineyard & Winery
Where: 7986 Tesla Rd, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Come taste wines, dine in the cafe, and shop 'til you drop! We have a special menu in the cafe, wine specials in the Tasting Room and lots of great new gift items which will all be 10% off!

Tasting Room Open!
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Friday, November 25, 2011 (12am - 5pm)
Who:Mitchell Katz Winery
Where: 1188 Vineyard Avenue, Pleasanton, CA, 94566 - Get Directions
Tasting room open!

Black Friday Weekend
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 (12 - 5pm)
Who:Las Positas Vineyards
Where: 1828 Wetmore Road, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Cost: $5.00
For $5, treat yourself to a glass of our 07' Estate Chardonnay or a glass of the 07' Cabernet Sauvignon along with a specially selected cheese, fruit and salami plate. These 2 wines will be discounted all weekend at 35% off half cases and above!!

Fenestra's Prelude to Christmas
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 (12 - 5pm)
Who:Fenestra Winery
Where: 83 Vallecitos Road, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Cost: $10.00
Come see our historic winery building decorated in the Christmas spirit and taste holiday foods along with our fabulous wines. This is a great time to bring your holiday guests to our winery. There is a $10 charge for this event.

Holiday Preview
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 (11am - 4:30pm)
Who:Wente Vineyards Estate Winery & Tasting Room
Where: 5565Tesla Road , Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Begin your holiday festivities off right and get a jump on your holiday shopping and entertaining ideas! Enjoy a fun and relaxing weekend, browse new holiday merchandise, stock up on holiday favorites, and pick up gifts for friends and family, all while you try your favorite Wente Vineyards wines. You can also “build your own basket!” Fill it with gifts and goodies and we’ll have it ready for you to take home for the perfect holiday gift. Estate Winery Tasting Room, Vineyard Tasting Room, Murrieta’s Well, & Tamas Estates

Fall Open House
Date & Time: Friday, November 25, 2011 - Sunday, November 27, 2011 (12 - 5pm)
Who:Thomas Coyne Winery
Where: 51 East Vallecitos Road, Livermore, CA, 94550-9637 - Get Directions
Please join us at the historical tasting room. We plan to release five new wines and will serve a selection of fine fruits and cheeses. Bring a picnic and enjoy sweeping views of the Livermore Valley. A great way to enjoy the Thanksgiving Weekend. New Releases: 2010 Viognier, California, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore, 2006 Petite Sirah, Eldorado, 2009 Late Harvest Petite Sirah, Livermore, 2009 Barbarea, Livermore.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why do wineries do this?

I recently visited a couple of wineries in Tracy, California. The first one was Windmill Ridge.
I think, and I say that carefully, I think their wines might be quite good. However, they let the wine that they pour for tasting oxidize. I don't know how they sell any wine when the samples are oxidized. Why do wineries do this? I realize they need to be careful about the bottom line of their business. However, I do believe they would sell more products if they had samples of good products. I was able to have a good sample of their 2006 Cabernet and I did buy a bottle.

They told me they save the wine they did not pour on Sunday by spraying nitrogen in the bottle, cork it and put it in the refrigerator. Then use that same wine the next Saturday. This is proof nitrogen doesn't always work well after several days go by.
The winery is only open Saturday and Sunday.

The second winery was Ramon Rios. Fantastic wines. Very well worth the visit. My favorite is the 2006 Tempranillo . This wine's aromas are plums, dark cherry and a hint of chocolate. Its fruit forward rich with grippy tannins; intense blackberry rich with good acid with hazelnut finish. It's dark red, clean yet unfiltered for more complex flavors.

I purchased several wines. I recommend visiting this winery.

I didn't have time to visit La Bonne Vie. Next time. Hopefully Windmill Ridge will have changed their practice and open new bottles every Saturday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A couple of good value wines

I ran across a couple of good value wines at Costco. Tamas Estates 2009 Double Decker Red $6.99 a full wine yet smooth. A blend of Cab, Petite Sirah and Barbera (wine notes) and Ruby Hills Winery 2009 Grapeful Red $12.99, Bronze medal in the 2011 Best of the Bay and Zin Challenge. These wines may not be available at every Costco.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Great Article by Laura Ness - Livermore Valley Wine Country

Harvest Weather Proves Tricky, But Not Without Treats

Posted: Saturday, October 29, 2011 12:00 am Independent Newspaper

Those who panicked when the rains came earlier this month and picked, perhaps a wee bit prematurely, are certainly ruing that decision now, as the unseasonably mild, and unusually long Indian Summer weather has come to roost like a late bunch of Canadian Geese. What's good for the goose may well be even better for the gander, as those who gandered on an improvement in conditions are sitting pretty right now. Livermore Valley overall is in pretty good shape, compared to other areas where shatter in the spring led to poor fruit set and cool weather caused many vineyard owners to drop fruit to the point of no return on investment. The big downside is lower crop yields on the grapes everyone wants most: the benefit is that those in oversupply are now naturally mitigated. It is ever thus in the continuing circle of life. I've heard from folks in the Monterey AVA that several wineries have so many ducks in the freezer, they're not going hunting this year, leaving their grapes to others to bag. Smaller, newer labels looking for cheap fruit might get their wish. Many vineyards have already declared their crops a loss to their insurance companies. Luckily, that's not the case in Livermore.

Here in the Livermore Valley, Steven Kent reports that they are still patiently waiting for their reds to come in. Their whites are all put to bed, but the red Bordeaux varietals still linger on the vine. Warm weather and the prodigious wind over the last several days have helped to dry out the vineyards and moderately move sugar levels higher. It is anticipated that warm temperatures will continue for the next 7 to 10 days, which means Cabernet from the Home Ranch should come in over Halloween weekend. Things will be a bit later at the Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard, given its deeper soils and higher elevation. Steven and company are still expecting the majority of the Bordeaux varieties to be ready there in the first two weeks of November. At this point, there is no rain in the forecast for the early part of November, which is certainly good news.

Just in time for Halloween, there are some very nice treats available for filling up those empty slots in your wine cellar.

With the current wine release, Rodrigue Molyneaux (RM) has introduced a rasher of fresh and beautiful wine labels. Now it's time to move out the old and bring in the new. While supplies last, visit RM for the next few weekends, beginning October 29 (or until it is gone), and receive 15% off a case of wine made up of "retired" labels.  At these prices, they'll fly out the door like candy on Halloween, so get them while you can.

For example, there are only two and a half cases left of 2008 Primitivo, a wine very similar to Zinfandel, but with a much spicier finish. Aged in American oak, the coconut flavors really add some nice complexity to this wine, which already has a great nose and lots of dark berry undertones. This wine pairs nicely with BBQ pork or beef ribs, as well as spicy pasta Bolognese. And get this, only 15 cases remain of 2008 Cabiovese, a really delicious blend of estate grown 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 75% Sangiovese: definitely a crowd-pleaser. The Cabernet gives it backbone and structure, while the Sangiovese adds zippy excitement. It is a great food wine and fun to drink.

Then there's the RM 2008 Barbera Late Harvest (LH), which was picked a little late and when it begin to ferment, the yeast didn't quite gobble up all the sugar, leaving behind a sweet little residual sugar treat. This Barbera has a nose of red ripe cherries, but in every sip, there's a lovely soft, sweet feel in the mouth.  There's plenty of acidity to keep it lively: perfect for sipping as a before dinner aperitif, or after dinner by the fire.

The 2008 Nebbiolo from Santa Barbara County comes from a vineyard fairly near the ocean. Perhaps Italy's most noble grape, it is grown only in Piemonte and Lombardy, and is revered in bottlings from the villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. This is a classic food wine, one built for aging, and it is quite common in Italy for Nebbiolos to be cellared for decades before they are ready to enjoy. This Nebbiolo has an earthy, almost Pinot Noir like nose, with smoky, leathery flavors, and is packed with plentiful acidity and tannins. Pair with a big slice of sourdough bread, olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, a slab of fresh mozzarella cheese, and salami. Or, a pizza! Mangia!

RM also still has both the award winning 2008 Sangiovese and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon that is only being served to wine club members, but schmooze the staff, and they might give you a swig.  Both these wines are big, yummy, and complex. To top off the flight, RM still has some 2006 Rubino dessert wine: the bottle age has really done it proud. Made with 100%

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, it has a nose of honey and almonds, and delivers lush caramel mingled with ripe fruit on the palate. The ample acidity and tannins bolster it, keeping it a serious contender. Taste it on special weekends up until November 12th, for the "End of Harvest" celebration, when it will become part of the flight until it is gone, which might be quite soon, since there are only 6 cases remaining.

Ladies Lipstick Wine Tour, November 5: Girl's Day Out in Wine Country Ladies, grab your girlfriends and a designated driver and come enjoy a fun day of wine tasting in Livermore Wine Country. Be pampered at every stop with girlie treats, like chocolate, cake, spa treatments, hair styling, jewelry, fashion accessories, makeup and lots more, including special wine discounts.

Participating Artisan Wineries are Les Chenes, McGrail Vineyards, Nottingham Cellars, Occasio Winery, Retzlaff and Rodrigue Molyneaux.

Visit at least four out of six wineries and be eligible to win an enormous special "Just for Girls" gift basket created by "Uptown Girls," stuffed with amazing girly bling and delicious consumables, worth nearly $400. What's not to love?

The first 75 ladies to visit Rodrigue Molyneaux receive roses from Fantasia Blooms and chocolate covered strawberries from Chef Tracy Flores at Castlewood, to go with a special flight of sweet wines. Relax with a by-the-minute foot, back or neck massage by Cheri, just $1/minute! Les Chenes has sassy edible works of art to taste and purchase- how about a cake purse - from Sugar Mama Bakery, plus hair styling tips from a high end San Francisco salon. McGrail will feature Holiday Smoky Eye demos by makeup professional Sheri Balken, plus scarves and purses by CC Kelly. Nottingham Cellars offers delicious confections from Danville Chocolates and Stella and Dot Jewelry. Occasio Winery will be serving mini cupcakes from Dolce bakery, and featuring one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry by Holly Ellsworth Rose.

Don't miss the "Kissing Booth" at Retzlaff, where you can have your official "Wine Babes" lipstick kiss tattoo tastefully applied by a handsome hunk! Learn how to shape brows with Nadine of La Di Da Beauty Lounge. Browse creative designs from Lynda Yonemoto of Silpada Jewelry. Indulge in Chocolate Mousse and fresh berries with Port.

Each winery will charge a $5 tasting fee. See for a map and details.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Great Weekend to go Rhone

Great Weekend to go Rhone
Date & Time: Saturday, October 22, 2011 - Sunday, October 23, 2011 (12 - 4:30pm)
Who:Les Chenes Estate Vineyards
Where: 5562 Victoria Lane, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Cost: $5.00
If you haven't gone Rhone yet, this would be a great weekend to start....Come in and Enjoy Les Chenes Estate Vineyards Rhone Style Wines paired along with our wonderful Cheeses. Try our newest cheese "Steakhouse Onion" paired with our Deux Rouges (cab/syrah blend). Also, don't forget to taste all our great Mustards........fee waived with purchase of wine.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tasting Picazo wines

Picazo 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
. Nice fruity wine, slight grassiness, French
oak barrel fermented. Nice alternative to Chardonnay. Price at the Underdog is $35.

Picazo 2007 Cabernet, Napa Valley. Beautiful Cabernet. Smooth yet enough tannins to put this Cab away for several years. Berries, cherries and a bit of chocolate. While the Alcohol level is 14.9%, one will not detect that. It has a long finish. Very nice Cab but not for every day drinking at $125 a bottle at the Underdog.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A rare opportunity - Winemaker Night with Picazo Vineyards at the Underdog

Mark Clarin, the winemaker at Picazo, will be at the Underdog Wine Bar in Livermore to pour a selection of the wines he has created at Picazo Vineyards. Picazo wines are available at a few select restaurants, wine shops or by allocation from the winery. This is an opportunity not often available.

Please note the start time has been incorrectly posted in other media. The correct start time is 6PM.

If you go:
Tonight, Oct 20, 2011
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Undedog Wine Bar
4590 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 94550
(Located on Concannon Vineyard)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday in The Livermore Valley Wine Country

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

5:00 - 8:00 pm

TAMÁS Estates Tasting Room

5565 Tesla Road, Livermore

Come and enjoy a family-style theme cuisine paired with the latest wines from TAMÁS Estates.

Club Members $10 plus tax.

All other guests $15 plus tax.

Reservations are highly recommended, as space is limited.

Cuda Ridge Tasting at Zephyr Grill and Bar
Date & Time: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 (6 - 8pm)
Who:Cuda Ridge Wines
Where: 5385 East Avenue, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Come join us for the Cuda Ridge Winemaker tasting at Zephyr Grill and Bar on Tuesday, Oct 18th from 6:00 - 8:00. Winemaker, Larry Dino, will be tasting the 2008 Cabernet Franc and the 2009 Malbec, as well as other Cuda Ridge wines. The Cabernet Franc and Malbec are available for purchase at Zephyr. Zephyr Grill and Bar is located at 1736 First Street, Livermore.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Weekend - Around The Livermore Valley Wine Country

John Christopher Cellars, Acoustic Folk & Rock with Roger Kardinal at Blacksmith Square. Saturday, Oct 15, 3:00PM to 6:00PM. 21 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore, CA

Get your "GRUV" on at Thomas Coyne Winery. Rhone Style
wine will be poured for tasting this weekend. No Tasting fees. This is a new label for Thomas Coyne. GRUV is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussane, Ugni Blanc and Viognier.

Jazz Duo Joey T. & Bobby C. at The Winemaker's Pour House. Saturday, Oct 15, 5:30PM to 8:30PM. The Winemaker's Pour House sell exclusively Livermore Valley Wines. The food menu is not to be missed. Article soon to be published in The Independent News.

Beautiful Day to Rhone
Date & Time: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - Sunday, October 16, 2011 (12 - 4:30pm)
Who:Les Chenes Estate Vineyards
Where: 5562 Victoria Lane, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Cost: $5.00
It's a beautiful Fall Day and a great time to Rhone with Les Chenes Rhone Style Wines. Paired with all our incrediable cheeses, it can't get better than that.......Try one of our newest cheeses, (Steak House Onion) with one of our newest releases, (Deux Rouges - Cab/Syrah). Also don't forget to try all of Les Chenes Mustards......COME IN AND ENJOY. fee waived with purchase of wine.

Gatekeeper Fall Release Dinner and Reception
Date & Time: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - Saturday, October 15, 2011 (6pm)
Who:Concannon Vineyard
Where: 4590 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions
Cost: $60.00
Our semi-annual gourmet dinner will be held in our Cask & Barrel Room. Exclusive to Gatekeepers plus one guest; Membership allows each Gatekeeper household to purchase 2 tickets ($60 each) *Limited seats available

Charles R Party
Date & Time: Saturday, October 15, 2011 - Saturday, October 15, 2011 (12:01 - 4:30pm)
Who:Charles R Vineyards
Where: 8195 crane ridge road, Livermore, CA, 94550 - Get Directions

Charles R Party and Wine Pick Up - Indian Summer in the country with music, wine, and food pairing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kissos in Dublin, California talks about when they will pick their grapes.

Kissos News, October 2011

Lots to share!

Hi! This is Paris from Kissos Wines.

As I sit here and write to you reflecting on the past 6 months, I realize how much has been accomplished, not without the support of you, our customers and fans. Thank you.

Fall is upon us and the weather is changing. We have had some early rains, but thankfully the rains were cold, which inhibited any potential for mold. We made the decision to leave our Cabernet Sauvignon on the vines until the end of October. Given the cool summer, our target of 26 brix is in view as we extend harvest out a few weeks further. The thinner skinned grapes have all come in for crush. Yields are down across the board, but quality has not been compromised.

The 2009 Kissos Cabernet Sauvignon was bottled in August and is settling down very nicely in the bottle. This vintage is 90% Cabernet with 5% Cab Franc and 5% Merlot - I think it's one of our best so far. The 2010 Kissos Cabernet is still in barrel gaining complexity from the French Oak and is developing very well, I expect yet another good vintage under the guidance of Massimo Monticelli our wonderful wine maker.

As many of you know, we successfully launched our newest wine, the 2009 Kissos "Mayari" Sonoma Red. "Mayari" is the blending of our daughters' names, Maya and Arianna. This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Syrah, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Sirah and 3% Cab Franc. It is our first Sonoma wine and has exceed our expectations. This wine pairs well with a great variety of foods.

With the three varietals, Kissos is now on a bi-annual release schedule. In the spring around late April we will release our Kissos Cabernet Sauvignon and Kissos Sauvignon Blanc. In the summer around late August our Kissos Mayari will be ready for release. Additionally we will be launching our wine club by the end of October. We will notify everyone when the wine club has gone live.

As our business customer base grows we feel it makes sense to have Kissos available in the local region. In addition to First St Wine Company in Livermore, CA; our wines can also be sampled here in our home town of Dublin, CA at Cellar 9 Restaurant and Bar. Stop by and have a glass of great wine with Cellar 9's exceptional cuisine. We have plans to add several more bay area locations in which Kissos Wines will be available.

Finally, we are planning our first Wine Maker / Vintner dinner in Dublin, CA at Cellar 9 Restaurant and Bar. . We will be pairing our wines with a 5 course meal (vegetarian option available) and providing a preview of the 2009 Kissos Cabernet Sauvignon. Stay tuned for a final date. We will send out an announcement and our website will be updated with the details and have the link to purchase tickets.

Thank You.

Kissos Wines

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jazz at The Winemaker's Pour House Saturday Livermore, CA

The Winemaker's Pour House will have a live Jazz Duo Saturday 5:30PM to 8:00PM.
Don't miss it.
They were quite busy Wednesday night. It's the place to be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

This article will appear Thursday in the Independent news paper.

The Winemaker’s Pour House

Devoted solely to local wineries

by Harry Stoll

These women have their nerve—opening their first business when things aren’t looking good. But what does look good for Kelly McFarland and Julie Racine is their business, The Winemaker’s Pour House, a coolegant wine bar with a corner on the action at 1st Street and South Livermore Avenue, where the fountain splashes and the flag flies.

Right off the sidewalk, you walk under a merlot-colored awning, into warmth and comfort, in a well-laid out space. Choose a 4-person tall table against an old brick wall, a larger lower table, the tasting bar, or a table on the patio in back. The acoustics invite conversation. Art by local artists—to be periodically changed—hangs on the walls. The lighting is pleasant, the paint jobs and other surface treatments are subtle and peaceful—it’s a tasteful tasting place with good-tasting wines.

Either Julie or Kelly—sometimes both—will be there to pour and serve. This is a small business with the owners dealing with the nuts and bolts, the nuts, the cheeses, the salads, the soups, paninis—and, of course the wine.

In a first for Livermore, The Winemaker’s Pour House serves only wines produced by Livermore Valley wineries. Each day, The Pour House pours three pours of 2-ounces each, from $8 to $12.

One night, the tasting menu, simply and clearly displayed on tasty creamy paper, offered sparkling wine, chardonnay, pinot noir, rosé, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel—from such valley luminaries as Charles R, Engarde, Fenestra, John Evans, Little Valley, Page Mill, Retzlaff, Rodrigue Molyneux, Ruby Hill, el Sol, and Steven Kent.

Other nights, it had Bodegas Aguirre, Chouinard, Concannon, Las Positas, and Wente. Starting out, Julie and Kelly have more than 15 local wineries, and expect to add more. This is a pleasant place to compare valley wineries varietals or blends.

Winemaker’s evenings will have local winemakers talking about their wine, wine in general, and moving about the place to talk Soon, the Pour House will offer wine appreciation events, with enoscenti presenting the information in a straight-forward way with no pretension but plenty of appreciation. Some nights they will offer wine and food pairing for you to chew on. This could move from the time-tested to recognition of some unusual pairings and maybe some deeper dishing about why they work.

Ooooo, the food:

Five salads—six cheeses from goats, Humboldt, sheeps, France, cows, and Mt. Tam—almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts—how do you like them sliced apples, grapes green and red, and strawberries. The cheeses are served with a mini baguette, or go for the Pour House plate of four cheeses with fruit and nuts.

It’s a place not only for a stylish nibbling nosh, but also a light meal on the way to the Bankhead for a play, the ballet, or bowling. The panini grill puts out, oh yes, a BLT with Fontina and garlic aoli spread—Chicken blue with caramelized onion, Italian Chicken with tomato pesto—sharp cheddar—and peanut butter and strawberry preserves on cinnamon and sugar crusted bread to take you back to mama’s kitchen.

The brie and spicy apricot chutney croissant livens you right to your toes. Try to take small bites, try not to gobble it and make gutteral sounds. Tapping it to your lips and sighing would be all right with Miss Manners. JR’s (apparently for Julie Racine, Kelly says Julie is the foodie) will warm you with ground turkey topped with bleu cheese.

And a smores panini, brownies infused with Livermore
Valley Port, and nibs and bits of dark chocolate and dried cranberries. Local chef Tiffany Mooney is responsible for the soulful food.

Often, there shall be music wherever you go to the back patio. It is to be acoustic music, no blaring, but plenty of depth. Roger Kardinal opened the place. Other musicians will enter herein. They will either be locally well-known or will be after they play here. The patio looks straight up to the sky and a nice few of the floodlit famous huge Livermore downtown flag. Good place for glass clinking, getting together with friends, getting it together, or eye gazing. Your oldest stories are renewed here.

Kelly McFarland is a retired U.S. Navy chief petty officer. Julie Racine is a veteran of the retail wars. Both these business partners have that shining smile and welcoming way that is necessary for a business that intends to make people feel good. And their hospitality is of the real kind that you can’t make up. But more importantly, they are onto something unique, with their soulful sole dedication to local wineries. Of course, it was, and will be, a lot of hard work. These women are up to it.

Chouinard Winery usually does not sell off site but said Pour House is a delightful exception. “We are honored.” Caroline, George, and Damian Chouinard, said, “ It’s great to see these women open a new business featuring Livermore Valley wineries.”

2241 First Street Livermore


Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11:30 am to 8:30 pm

Friday and Saturday 11:30 am to 9:00 om

Sunday 11:30 am to 8:30 pm

Trellising Vineyards

How well a vineyard is trellised will have a big impact how much good fruit the winemakers will receive this year with current rains in Northern California.

Until the 60's the best practice for trellising vines was the head-trained. However this method also proved a loss of fruit to sunburn and excessive growth which would strain the fruit.

In the 70's T-trellising became the best practice. Growers were able to control the air movement and sunburn with vines draped over wires.

In the 90's a new practice of Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) became the standard practice in California. This method controls growth, the amount of sun and air flow.

Open-U, or Lyre are also common place vineyard trellising. It spreads the grapes in to vertical curtains. This protects against vigorous rootstock and aggressive soils.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moonlight Wine Tasting Rides

Horse and Wagon Night Ride -- 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, October 12th . Hosted by McGrail Vineyards, Bent Creek Winery, Big White House and Charles R Vineyards, 5600 Greenville Road, Livermore. Taste wine pairings at each site, hop on the horse and wagon for a moonlight ride between the wineries. Cost: $30.

The wines are excellent at these wineries.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New wine bar in Livermore

Soft opening tonight for The Winemaker's Pour House in Livermore. This wine bar will have a selection of Livermore Valley wines and serve small plates. They plan for food and wine pairings and wine education classes. See the article in the Diablo Magazine.

The Winemaker's Pour House

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Wineries in Livermore

Two new wineries in Livermore.

En Garde is sharing space with Tenuta Vineyards. En Garde makes several good wines, however I feel that their double gold Cabernet at $80 a bottle is over priced.

Secondly San Francisco Bay Winery is sharing space with Rios-Lovell Winery. They make a Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet. I can't find a Website for them but their address is
6500 Tesla Rd
Livermore, CA 94550-9523 .


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wine and Music at Blacksmith Square

This the last Saturday this year for this weekly event. Excellent wines at John Christopher Cellars.

New Wine Release this Weekend

and Music on Saturday and Sunday

at John Christopher Cellars in Blacksmith Square

Join us this weekend and check out our newly released 2008 Madden Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon - a fabulous cab in the style of the 2 previous award winning releases. This is a wonderful wine to enjoy during our cool fall evenings with a few good friends and maybe even paired with a tasty aged cheddar cheese - yum!

Hard to believe its October already! But, the music lives on through October. On Saturday we will feature the fabulous Hummingbirdz ! They will play from 3-6 PM in the courtyard.

John Christopher Cellars at Blacksmith Square

(Corner of Railroad and So Livermore Ave)

Livermore, CA 94550

925.456.WINE (9463)

email us at: wine@johnchristophercellars

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tamas Cafe Tuesdays

Tamas Estate offers a dinning once a month by reservation only. It includes dinner, wine and live music for as little as $10 if you are a club member. $15 for the general public. This is an excellent value.
Tamas Estates

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bottle Your Own Wine

I stopped in Thomas Coyne Winery to tast the Vino Tinto Barato (cheap red wine). A wonderful blend mainly Petite Sirah. Excellent value at $6.50 a bottle. If you bring your own bottle it's $6.00.
I got a half a case.

Saturday, January 22, 2011