Labor Day weekend will provide a perfect opportunity for enjoyment as the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association (LVWA) marks the beginning of California Wine Month with the Harvest Wine Celebration from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 4 and Monday, September 5. Over 30 area wineries will participate, offering wine tastings, food, artisan goods, and music.
"We are celebrating the harvest season! Our winemakers are busy with harvesting the grapes and getting ready to make some wine," said Bethany Wallace, events and marketing coordinator for the LVWA. "It is a very cool time to be in the wineries, because oftentimes you are able to experience a bit of the production, see the beginning of the fermentation process, and can get a preview of what is to come from the 2016 vintage from one of the winemakers who will most likely be hanging around their tasting room to talk with you."
Around 3,000 visitors are expected for the two-day event, which is marking its 35th year. "This event has a long history, but the message is still the same: Livermore Valley is here to offer you quality wines and life-long memories," Wallace said. Part of that, she notes, is that each winery will be expanding its selection. "Our wineries will be offering tastes of more wines at each location, by pouring a full flight (three to four wines), where in the past guests were poured two wines at each stop."
The Livermore Valley is one of the state's oldest wine regions. The first commercial vines were planted in the 1840s and a Livermore Valley vintage won a gold medal at the 1889 Paris Exposition, the first American offering to receive this award. Winemakers in the region were the first to offer popular varietals such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Petite Syrah as well, and today nearly 80 percent of California's Chardonnay vines trace their genetic roots to a Livermore Valley clone.
California Wine Month will be celebrated at area wineries with additional events including tastings, vintner meet and greets, live music, outdoor films, release parties, winemaker dinners, and even a "Yoga in the Vineyard" evening at Concannon Vineyard. The 20th Annual Livermore Airport Open House and Air Show on October 1 will also provide a chance to sample local vintages as more than LVWA members will be on hand for the event.
Tickets for the Harvest Wine Celebration are available at participating wineries, The Wine Steward in Pleasanton, First Street Wine Company in Livermore, and online at www.LVwine.org. The admission price of $45 in advance and $55 the day of the event includes admission, a commemorative Livermore Valley wine glass, a tasting flight of three or four wines at each participating winery, and the official event program. Attendees can save 10% when buying 10 or more tickets together. LVWine.org also provides detailed information about the offerings at each participating winery.
Tickets for the Airport Open House are $20, which includes a commemorative glass, wrist band, and $20 worth of tasting tickets, are also available at LVWine.org.
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