Wine Talk

Snooth User: AdrianSmith

Any advice for wineries in Livermore?

Posted by AdrianSmith, Aug 20, 2014.

I'm preferably looking for a good Zin (but am open), I'm looking for wineries to feature in a new magazine i'm writing for called Drink Me. Any and all recommendations deeply appreciated!


Cheers folks :) 


Reply by dmcker, Aug 20, 2014.

Ah, the perrenial question, periodically revisited: is there any 'there' in Livermore wine? 

Calling NG!

Reply by AdrianSmith, Aug 20, 2014.


Reply by dmcker, Aug 20, 2014.

Just to be clear, by 'NG' I was referring to one of our members, NapaGirl, who lives/works in the area. I didn't necessarily mean it was all NoGood.  ;-)

Reply by madmanny, Aug 21, 2014.

Go to Wente and play golf there.  Then onto the tasting room and/or dining room.

Reply by AdrianSmith, Aug 21, 2014.

Haha, thats what I thought! Will wait for NapaGirl to see if she has any words of wisdom :)

MadManny, good advice, haven't played a spot of golf in a while!

Reply by MilesHuff, Aug 28, 2014.

Wente has some excellent Cabs and Chardonnays at reasonable prices.  Our favorite winery is Concannon mostly for their Petite Syrahs and blends.

Reply by napagirl68, Aug 31, 2014.

Sorry for the late arrival... have been offline a bit.

Occasio winery, Nottingham cellars (next door to each other), Bent Creek winery, Steven Kent (Mirassou- cabs/chards).   Wente is a decent tasting because they pour wines that are not distributed (I am not a fan of those).  If you go to Wente, go to the estate property at the golf course, a bit of a detour.  3 Steves is new and has had a few decent wines- I'd give them a visit at their new tasting room on Greenville Rd.  Lots of people love McGrail Winery, and their wines are ok, but I feel they are far overpriced for the product.  La Rochelle touts great pinots, but again I think overrated when you can get great pinot from sonoma for less $$.  Don't focus on pinot for Livermore, because the grapes are brought in from elsewhere.

Thomas Coyne has made some great zins in the past, but I have not been there in several years.  They may be worth a shot, but I cannot recommend presently.

Don't skip Bent creek.

Reply by vin0vin0, Mar 4, 2019.

I'm digging this thread out of the pile since I had an opportunity last week to do some exploring of the Livermore wine scene.

Being the nerd engineer that I am, I keep spreadsheets on all kinds of things much of which are wine related.  I have one spreadsheet labeled "California Other" with tabs for wineries in regions like Livermore, Amador, Santa Cruz, Los Olivos ...  Also in the spreadsheet is a column for "Notes" with things like tasting fees, hours of operation, appointment only and a few of these contained the note -  Snooth Recommended.

On my Livermore tab I see that I was in the area in 2011 for a week and visited 8 wineries.  This time around I made two trips out and was able to stop in 5 different places.

On the first venture I visited Crooked Vine-Stony Ridge Winery, Mitchell Katz Winery and Rios-Lovell Estate Winery.  I found a couple decent wines at Crooked Vine, mainly their red blends, and one slightly off viognier.  The best at Mitchell Katz was their merlot, their cab not so much. I was less impressed with Rios-Lovell although their viognier was actually quite tasty.

On my second venture (thanks to NG) I stopped in at Occasio and Nottingham.  Better wines here in general and in particular Occasio had a very good '13 petite sirah.  I was most impressed with Nottingham was where I found most of the wines to be of a higher caliber.  Top quaffs here were their Bordeaux Blanc, their Coco Blanc (Roussanne, Marsanne, Muscat) and their Syrah.

Side note - I was the only one in the tasting room at Occasio so I got to talk quite a bit with the person doing the pouring. Come to find out, he's moving to NC in May to be nearer his children, he'll be about an hour away from us.  We exchanged phone numbers and I suspect I'll be getting a call in a couple months to welcome him to the sunny South.


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