ESA Livermore-Airway BLVD
2380 Nissen Dr, Livermore, CA 94550
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Travel Tips for Livermore
Bent Creek Winery
Bent Creek is named after the creek that wanders through it's property in the hills of the Livermore Valley. The winery makes you forget there is a big city just a few miles away. Bent Creek is a "small lot" winery that strives for a complex wine made only from their own vineyard or purchased lots from quality vineyards in the areas.
Tasting: Fri - Sun. Noon - 4:30 PM Weekdays by appointment
Located at 5455 Greenville Road, Livermore
Cedar Mountain Winery
What do you get when you combing a sculptor, photographer and a gormet? A winery of course. And a pretty good one at that. Small lot, only producing about 4000 cases a year but they have nationally recognized wines.
Especially the port. The make an exceptionally smooth and rich Cabernet Royal port, but the real surprise is the Viognier Port.
Tasting: Mon - Frin 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Weekends Noon - 4:00 PM
Located at 7000 Tesla Road, Livermore
Steven Kent Winery
The Steven Kent winery is "just down the street" from the Wente complex. I've passed it many times and thought it part of Wente, however...(nose goes up a bit) it is considered "a world-class producer of extremely small lots of wine."
SO of course I had to stop and check out this blatant marketing. The tasting room is located in a newly built, rather modern house with a very nice patio where their "release parties" are held.
The wines were pretty good with the whites being more worth the price than the reds. The Chardonnay was quite buttery, something I like and have not found of late in most Livermore wines. The 2003 Cabernet was much better than the 2004. That may mean their reds just have to age a bit before drinking.
Pastas Trattoria Is Now Terra Mia
Terra Mia replaced Pastas Trattoria in Feb 2006. It is located in a strip mall in east Livermore. Don't let the location fool you. It is an excellent authentic Italian restaurant with an extensive wine list. It has both indoor and outdoor dining. You will probably need reservations if you want to have dinner there. However, be prepared to pay the price. Their cheapest pasta dish is $10.50 and everything else (salad, soup, etc.) is a la carte. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, which makes the prices okay for dinner but high for lunch. I recently had the Ziti al Salmone for lunch with no salad or soup and drank water; total bill including tax and tip was $19. Any of their dishes with smoked mozzarella cheese.
Livermore - Wine and Technology
"Grape Vines in Town and on the Hills"
Livermore is one of California's older wine regions. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Pioneer winemakers C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore recognized the area's winegrowing potential and founded their wineries in the early 1880s. International recognition followed when Livermore Valley captured America's first international gold medal for wine in 1889 at the Paris Exposition, putting California on the world wine map.
Although the Napa valley is more famous now, there are many (>25) good quality wineries in Livermore and the hills nearby. Nestled in the Livermore Valley between the first and second rows of hills from the coast, the area has an interesting history starting with the Costonoan Indians. Now Livermore is a small city of 80,000 that mixes agriculture with high technology. It is the home of Lawrence Livermore National Lab and enormous wind generator fields.
The hills east of Livermore have one of the largest wind farms in the world. You can visit it by using either Altamont or Patterson Pass. The picture shows only a small portion of what you can actually see. The Altamont Pass portion is seen by more people since I-580 runs through it but I think the views are actually better from Patterson Pass.
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