These is a list of the Livermore Valley wineries that we like. Check the winery’s website for visitor information. Happy travels!
Best Livermore Valley Wineries
- Mitchell Katz – Exquisite grounds, spacious & busy tasting room
- Fenestra Winery – Established in 1976, very friendly atsmosphere
- Retzlaff Estate – Certified organic, cozy tasting room, fun
- Page Mill Winery – Delicious Sauvignon Blanc, boutique
- Concannon Vineyard – Historic & one of California’s oldest wineries
- Murrieta’s Well – Owned by Wente, check out the historic well
- The Steven Kent Winery – The Cabernet Sauvignon
- Wente Vineyards – First Chardonnay planted here
- Bodegas Aguirre – From Physician to winemaker
- McGrail Vineyards – Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
Winery Descriptions, Driving Directions, Tasting Room Hours
We found the staff at Michell Katz to be very well informed and eager to give wine tasters information about the wines without being overbearing. On the weekends this is one of the busiest wineries in the Livermore area. The tasting room is spacious and can accommodate a lot of visitors. There are also picnic benches where one can enjoy a picnic lunch. The wines were all very nicely made and well balanced. Our favorite was the Sangiovese.
The Fenestra Winery has a very fun and inviting atmosphere. The tasting room is part of the old George True winery building built in 1889. It is a casual setting alongside the barrels and other winemaking equipment, no fancy Napa Valley like ambiance here. Lanny and Fran Replogle own the winery and they established Fenestra in 1976, thus making it one of the oldest wineries in the Livermore region.
Retzlaff is another funky and fun winery. You would never find anything quite like this at a Napa Valley tasting room. It is the fifth oldest winery in Livermore with a starting date of 1986. The winery is organically certified and is owned by Dr. Robert Taylor, who is also the winemaker. Dr. Taylor was a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore Lab and has used his scientific knowledge to make some delicious wines. The staff in the tasting room makes you feel quite at home. The grounds are beautiful and this is definitely a great spot for a picnic lunch
Page Mill Winery
Page Mill began on the San Francisco Peninsula in the Los Altos Hills near Page Mill Road. Once the winery outgrew its quarters, the winery moved across the Bay to Livermore. Dane Stark is the owner and winemaker. Dane still buys some grapes from the Los Altos Hills, but for his annual 2500 case production winery, the bulk of the grapes come from the Livermore area. The tasting room and winemaking cellars opened two years ago in a pretty setting on So. Livermore Avenue. We tasted the entire lineup of wine and were impressed by the quality and reasonable price range. The Sauvignon Blanc is outstanding. It is one of the best we have tried, crisp and refreshing, and full of flavors. It is the perfect picnic wine.
Concannon is a huge family operation in Livermore with 185 acres of vineyards and an annual case production of over 400,000 cases of wine. The winery’s first harvest was in 1883 making it one of the oldest wineries in California. John Concannon founded the winery, and the third and fourth generation family members run it today. Concannon’s flagship wine is Petite Sirah and it was the first winery to introduce this grape back in 1964. Concannon produces many other varietals worth tasting in their lovely tasting room.
When you approach the tasting room venue, look for the Artisan Well. The plaque on the well will give you the low-down and all you need to know about Murietta’s Well. Inside the tasting room you find a spacious and lively tasting room filled with visitors. There are four tasting bars to accommodate large weekend crowds that visit. The wines are all delicious, a great collaboration between Phil Wente and winemaker Sergio Traverso. This is a beautiful venue and a very popular spot for weddings and other special events. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the views.
The Steven Winery
Steven Kent is the owner of the winery at 5443 Tesla Road. Steven Kent is the 6th generation of the Mirassou Family that emigrated from France and established the Mirassou Winery back in 1852. The Steven Kent Winery focuses on Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhone varietals, and these grapes are from Livermore. These two winereies have two different winemakers and two separate tasting areas, even though the entrance is the same for both.
Wente Vineyards has a special place in our hearts because it was one of the very first wines that we purchased regularly back in the day. It was the Wente Bros. Grey Rieslling. That wine was one of their flagship wines for years. The vines were dug up in the 1990’s to make room for today’s more popular varieties. Few people know that this is where the first Chardonnay was planted in California. Carl Wente took budwood obtained from Meursault in France’s Burgundy region and successfully planted the grape on his vineyards. This was in 1883 and five generations later the winery and its Chardonnay are flousishing. Wente Bros also has a gourmet restaurant on the property in case you want to dine in style.
This is the winery of cardiologist Recardo Aquirre. This is a cute little boutique winery at the end of our wine trail on Tesla Road. We really enjoyed the wines at Bodegas Aquirre; they seemed to be made just for our palate. The wines are all made from estate vineyards and produced in small amounts. These are delicious wines with great character and structure, some of the best wines we tasted in our Livermore wine travels. We love the art work on the bottles.
McGrail Vineyards & Winery
The grounds, wine cellars, and tasting room at McGrail are relatively new and quite impressive. More impressive is the recent award by the San Francisco Chronicle of the best overall red wine of their extensive competition. The McGrail 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded Best of Class at the latest competiton . However, don’t pass up the other wines; they are well made and the McGrail Family and winemaker Mark Clarin should take a bow to their outstanding lineup of wines. The winery is an excellent choice for a picnic lunch. The views are quite pleasant.