Livermore Valley (AVA)
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Discover the Ever Expanding Livermore Valley
by Michael Lasky
September 12, 2012

Visiting the Livermore Valley region is a great way to explore the diversity of wines this historical appellation in California delivers. Wineries and grapes go back many generations here, yet a host of new players are adding texture and expression. Long noted for the gravel soils of the valley floor, new flavors are coming into the mix as vineyards are pushed into the surrounding hills and boutique tasting rooms expand.

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Livermore Valley put California on the international wine map in 1889, capturing America’s first gold medal at the Paris Exposition. The winemaking history here is long and fascinating, beginning in 1844 when Robert Livermore (an English sailor) jumped ship and planted the first vineyards. The Wente and Concannon vineyards, established in the 1880s, are still industry leaders in production today.

Livermore Valley boasts one of the original U.S. appellations granted by the BATF way back in October, 1982. This designation was largely based on the unique, gravel-based soils and the marine winds that are drawn into the valley every afternoon from San Francisco Bay. As with Santa Clara Valley, wineries here struggle with the relentless pressures of urban expansion throughout the Bay Area. About 40 wineries survive, not only on grapes grown in the Livermore Valley, but also from grapes sourced in surrounding appellations. Livermore Valley has always had a strong reputation for the Bordeaux white varietals and continues to produce remarkable Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, even though acreage devoted to these two stars continues to dwindle.

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In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.  [>] continue


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Best of Appellation

See the best wines of Livermore Valley

See the best wines of
Livermore Valley

BLUE BOOK PROFILES

Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Livermore Valley AVA

Bordeaux Blend - Red

Bordeaux Blend - Wht

Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay

Merlot

Petite Sirah

Syrah | Shiraz

Zinfandel

Alive & Well here


Chardonnay: You are the world’s greatest star. Your fame has infiltrated every nook and cranny of the globe, regardless  [>] continue

Correspondent

Laura Ness
is the Regional Correspondent for Livermore Valley.

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Featured Wines

McGrail Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve A complex wine with a long finish leaving fresh berries lingering on your tongue. Very drinkable right now; will improve over 2-3 years
buy wine $36.00


Steven Kent Winery 2006 Merrillie Chardonnay, Unfiltered A wine full of the flavors of apple, pineapple, melon and toasted oak. Aged in a combination of American, French and Hungarian barrels.
buy wine $30.00

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