This winery started in the owners home, a big white house. The tasting room locate at 6800 Greenville Road is a few miles from the winery which is located in down town Livermore.
Like most Livermore wineries, this is small lot using only premium grapes from the area. Unlike many of the larger operations, Big White Hous does not regularly practice fining and filtration which makes for very individual character in their varietals.
The owner's son is probably the youngest winemaker in the region. He started professionally in 1998 while still in high school. His first release was in 2001 and since 2004 the releases (2-4 per year) have typically been sold out before the release.
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.
This is a small winery but it dates back to old CA. Wente bought the winery in 1990 to make a come back for "old world style" wines. It is only 92 acres but produces some very good wines due to the local soil.
Tasting: Wed - sun 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Location: 30005 Mines road Livermore
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
Established only in 1995 this winerey specializes in estate grown premium red wines. Their care has produced some of the highest quality grapes in the valley which is turned into Pitite Syrah, Bordeaux style varietals and a few blends.
The proprietor, Dr. Ricardo E. Aguirre, MD is a retired Cardiovascular Surgeon who began making wine as a hobby. Now a few hundred cases later this small winery produces some incredible reds.
Tasting on weekends only Noon - 4:00 PM
Located at: 8580 Tesla Road Livermore
Established in 1863, Concannon is one of the oldest wineries in the area as it has been producing wine for over 120 years. Located just next to Retzlaff, (or maybe it should be the other way around), the original home of james Concannon is the heat of the operation.
First in the area to bottle Petite Sirah, it is internationally known for it's award winning wines.
Tasting Daily 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Located at 4590 Tesla Road Livermore
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
I found Retzlaff one day while riding my bicycle in the Livermore Valley. Just off a dirt road sits a small "Mom and Pop" winery that produces some exceptional award winning wines.
They don't produce much, just enough. SO every year I make the pilgrimage to taste and purchase the "futures." Well, I may visit more often than that...but the futures tasting is a wonderful event.
No fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used on the vines. They make all their wines by hand (and if you show up during crush you might get put to work). Great place and great people.
The tasting room is open:
Tuesday - Friday from 12:00 - 2:00 PM Weekends from 12:00 - 4:30 PM