Explore Livermore Valley: A Wine Trolley Tour!


I found myself on board the heated, vintage-style Livermore Wine Trolley singing ‘California Love’ along with LED lights even though I was not expecting to see it. Alongside a handful of friends I had the chance to sample five wines at Las Positas Vineyards in Wetmore Road. They were paired with delectable food prepared by the executive chef. If it’s a sunny day many wineries provide open patio tasting which makes this experience an outdoor one.

On this wintry Sunday, we’re thankful to be able to partake of a more civilized form of adventures: the $1 tour of the historic Livermore Valley, which includes three winery stops and an assigned driver, Fernando, who is endowed with charisma and a presence fitting of his former career in the role of San Francisco ers announcer. The tour offers a refreshing and comprehensive overview of an area of winemaking that’s frequently ignored by a lot of Bay Area natives. Although I live only minutes away from this valley it has become a part of my life for several years. I have been fortunate enough be able to meet winemakers and winemakers, pick the bottles of wine and even judge wine competitions.

The guests of the formal tasting event had the chance to taste 14 wines from three estates. This included the well-known Concannon Vineyard, enabling them to reconnect and appreciate the unique terroirs of Livermore Valley. It also highlighted how much these wines have progressed particularly when tasting some of the newer varietals which are grown in the valley, like Verdelho and Cabernet Franc. On this chilly day, the guests were gathered in Garre Vineyard and Winery. located in a family-owned business that is located on Tesla Road. In the winter, the hillside was transformed to lush, mossy green. Fog still blanketed the vineyard.

At the Garre Vineyards, we were honorably received to take part in the formal experience of tasting wine. In between sipping on glassfuls of delectable off-dry sparkling, our guide Martel enlightened us on how the winery came into existence and its owner winemaker Bob Molinaro. We learned that the Italian grandparents and his father created red wine using grapes that were smuggled into Napa Valley, which also inspired Mr. Molinaro’s decision to open the winery in the s as a tribute to the legacy of their family. It was possible to sample delicate and creamy sangiovese along with primitivo made from grapes that were grown on the estate. It was a wonderful tasting experience that brought admiration and appreciation.

My companions and I were delightedly escorted by Martel towards a table having been warned not to move too quickly in the sequence of five wine and small bites of food. We were only beginning to make acquaintances with each other, the educator-like atmosphere sparked mutual chortles over draughts of a robust, striking Syrah. Martel was awe-inspiring in elucidating the distinctive attributes of each wine and urging us to revisit the wine list, and to try different wines alongside the tomato basil soup, the grilled flatbreads of vegetables, and various other food items. “Do not let us dictate your taste buds,” she proclaimed. “Discover the things that please you.

After our visit to the Garre’s Winery we were generously given a discount of % at the already low costs for their wine. Also, Fernando graciously offered to store our purchases until our tour concluded. As he explained the next location, Las Positas Vineyards five miles to our east, Lisa as well as Lothar Maier, we took our seats. The estate is home to acres of diverse vineyards on the property, which include barbera and tempranillo, verdolho barbera, merlot, tempranillo. chardonnay, and mourvedre. The winery is currently opening its own lounge which is fully-serviced, and serves regular flatbreads, as well as other wines-friendly food items, which are accompanied by live music.


The experience with Martel’s wine was entertaining and informative. Wine tastings that were traditionally a part of the process were challenged in a completely new way that gave us our own freedom to taste wines and find our own favourite combinations using the two-bite snacks. The individual preferences of each one of us were discovered independently. This allowed us to gain insight into our taste and to discover the perfect pairings.

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