The French term terroir expresses “a sense of place,” the way local conditions of land, climate, culture and technique combine to create wine attributes specific to a region.
Taste Our Terroir, Livermore Valley’s premier food and wine affair, returns for four delectable days in 2017 as the historic region celebrates and educates wine lovers about its unique “taste of the land.” From July 21st to the 24th, Livermore Valley wineries will offer 13 different events, including the popular food and wine pairing competition, a progressive dinner, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting seminars and vineyard tours. VIP tickets grant early access to Thursday’s food and wine pairing competition. All event tickets are on sale now at www.LVwine.org.
Taste Our Terroir 2017 will begin Thursday night, July 20, 5-9pm, with the region’s signature event, the annual quest for food and wine pairing excellence at Casa Real in Pleasanton. Twenty Livermore Valley winemakers have partnered with Bay Area chefs to compete for honors. Experts Catherine Fallis of PlanetGrape.com, Carolyn Jung of FoodGal.com and Ian White of San Francisco Magazine (see bios below) will sample the gourmet pairings in a blind tasting before awarding Most Innovative Pairing, Judges’ Best Pairing and Best Classic Pairing.Guests will have the opportunity to taste the 20 pairings, bid on luxurious silent auction items, enjoy decadent desserts presented by Sysco and cast two votes in the People’s Choice competition for the best red and white wine pairings. VIP tickets ($125 until sold out) grant access to the event at 5pm (one hour early). General admission tickets are $85 in advance and $95 after July 1st at www.LVwine.org. This event sells out every year—there will be no tickets available at the door.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, wineries across Livermore Valley will host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences highlighting the region’s terroir. Visit www.LVwine.org for tickets and details on all events, which include:
FRIDAY, JULY 21
THE ART OF PICKLING AND PAIRING 12-2pm at Mitchell Katz Winery
Join Chefs Chad Welch and Andrew Schwartz as they walk you through two different pickling processes for local seasonal fruit and vegetables. These techniques are a great way to prolong the life of your produce and add an acidic punch to your dishes. Enjoy a ploughman’s lunch and sample wines with the winemaker as you learn. Leave with the skills to get you out of almost any pickle. [$50]
SUMMER ENTERTAINING IN LIVERMORE VALLEY 4-6pm at Whole Foods Market Dublin
Summer entertaining is all about being surrounded by people you love, the sounds of laughter, and wonderful food & wine. Join us at Whole Foods Market Dublin where we will create the perfect summertime spread—from cheese and charcuterie boards to nuts, olives and even some chocolate. And what is a get-together without wine? Three Livermore Valley wineries will be joining us to share their favorite summer pairings. [$45] COOKING DEMONSTRATION WITH ROCKY FINO 7-9pm at Page Mill Winery A fan favorite, back by popular demand! There is never a dull moment with Chef Rocky Fino, the nationally recognized cookbook author of “Will Cook for Sex.” During this two-hour cooking demonstration, you are guaranteed to be entertained. Rocky will prepare three delicious and attainable recipes paired with Page Mill’s award-winning wines. Not only an opportunity to learn “how” to cook, but, more importantly, Rocky will impress upon you “why” to cook. [$75]
SATURDAY, JULY 23
SAVOR OUR TERROIR | A GARDEN LUNCH WITH KARL WENTE 10:30am-1pm at Wente on Arroyo Road
Join 5th Generation Winemaker Karl Wente and Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk as they take you through an experience like none other. Sip on wines created in the very soil you are standing on as Karl Wente guides you through the vineyards. Afterward, rest your feet and feast on a delectable meal made with fresh ingredients from Wente Vineyards’ on-site herb and vegetable garden. [$110] IT’S ALL COMING UP ROSÉ 1:30-3:30pm at Dante Robere Vineyards For most, the mention of rosé brings to mind the warm summer months and long afternoons with friends. Spend the afternoon sipping on four rosés with Livermore Valley winemakers. Discover their different styles, techniques and philosophies to achieve their perfect summertime rosé. Which one defines summer for you? [$55]
A JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE | A SPIRITS TASTING 4-6pm at Occasio Winery
Once upon a time, Livermore Valley was renowned for the quality of its spirits. But this is a story that went underground during Prohibition, a story lost when the great stills of Livermore were taken apart and moved to our nearby canyons. Though records are scarce, Prohibition introduces us to few new names. Some, like the Gallo boys, will be familiar to you, while others, like Sheriff Burton Becker and his ‘Dry Raiders,’ may not be. This was a unique time in Livermore history—a time of survival by any means, and a story worth retelling. The event will begin with a tour of a still room, followed by relaxation in the exclusive Sidewinder Member’s Lounge, created in the spirit of Livermore Valley in the 1920s. Here, guests will learn how brandies and whiskies are crafted and aged, and taste through some of the newest offerings. Resident mixologists will demonstrate how to make historic cocktails, including the original James Bond Martini and the Sidewinder. [$50]
A WINE COUNTRY PROGRESSIVE DINNER 6:30-9:30pm at The Steven Kent Winery, Garre Winery & Cafe, Charles R Vineyards
An evening tour through the Livermore Valley vineyards under the stars promises to be an evening you will not soon forget. First stop at The Steven Kent Winery’s Barrel Room for light bites and a refreshing glass of wine. Once finished, experience dinner at Garre Cafe with farm-to-table cuisine prepared by Chef Abe. Finish the evening on the relaxing patio of Charles R Vineyards and indulge in dessert paired with dessert wines. Menu to be announced. [$125]
SUNSET LOBSTER BOIL 6:30-9:30pm at McGrail Family Vineyards
Join us for a night to remember! Start your evening by sampling award winning Livermore Valley wines while watching the preparation for a typical East Coast Lobster Boil. Then, put on your lobster bib and dig in! The table will be filled with fresh Maine lobster, prawns, sausage, corn on the cob, garlic, artichokes, potatoes, bread, and lots of butter! After this fun, family style dinner, you are invited to dance the night away under the stars with live music. Ticket includes: Wine tasting, lobster dinner and one bottle of wine per pair of tickets. [$125]
Sunday, July 24 BRUNCH AMONG THE VINEYARDS 10am-12pm at Retzlaff Vineyards and Estate Winery
Have you ever had a bad day that starts with brunch? Neither have we! Discover a wonderful spread prepared by Chef Matt Greco of Salt Craft among the vines at Retzlaff Vineyards & Estate Winery in Livermore Valley. Toast to Sunday! [$95]
BOOTS ON THE GROUND, WINE IN YOUR GLASS 10am-12pm at Murrieta’s Well
Guests will experience true “boots on the ground” hiking through the vineyards at Murrieta’s Well. Wear your hiking boots and get ready to see some amazing views of the Livermore Valley. After the hike, guests will taste through Estate Grown wines and sample some small bites from the Murrieta’s Well culinary team. [$60]
AN AFTERNOON WITH JOHN CONCANNON 12:30-2:30pm at Concannon Vineyard Join Concannon
Vineyard for an exclusive opportunity to hear Fourth Generation Vintner John Concannon share stories of his family’s history as a founding family of California Cabernet Sauvignon and the legacy of the Concannon Cabernet Clones. This intimate experience will take place in our historic wine library and will include light bites and a private wine tasting. [$75]
AN EXPLORATION OF PORT: FROM PORTUGAL TO LIVERMORE VALLEY 3-5pm at Cedar Mountain Winery
A crowd favorite, back for another year! Join us at Cedar Mountain Winery for a Port seminar and tasting. Cedar Mountain winemaker Earl Ault will guide you through the history of Port and how it is made. Taste a variety of award-winning Cedar Mountain Winery Ports alongside other California and Portuguese Ports. Which will you prefer? [$35].