Livermore is a great alternative to Napa for wine tasting. It’s closer to the East Bay, less crowded, more affordable, and the wines were actually very good. I recently went with some co-workers from Chronicle and we visited three wineries: McGrail, Wente, and Rios-Lovell. Here are some photos from that gorgeous day.
McGrail’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon won best red wine in the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2012 wine competition. We did the $10 tasting and I came home with a bottle of their Picazo 2008 Proprietary Red.
Our second stop was Wente Vineyards. Two of us did the standard $5 tasting and the other two did the $10 reserve tasting. We bought a bottle of their chardonnay and had a picnic on their well-manicured lawn, complete with live music.
Our last and my least favorite stop was Rios-Lovell Winery, which specializes in port wines. The tasting was a little haphazard with too many options and all of us tasting different things. But I did appreciate the chocolate bites and gracious hosts.
There are several more vineyards in Livermore, and I’m convinced that this is a place worth exploring.