If you’ve dreamt of checking out California wine country, there’s no better time to start planning than now. With summer approaching, you might be wondering how to pick the best vineyards to visit and wines to waft.
While Tri-Valley may not be the region that immediately comes to mind, it has a long history of winemaking and almost perfect terrain for cultivating any wine you can imagine. Located just 30 miles east of San Francisco, Tri-Valley has a perfect combination of gravel-based soils, marine winds and east-west orientation that creates just the right circumstances to grow ripe, delicious grapes perfect for winemaking.
In fact, a winning white wine from Livermore first put California’s wine industry on the international wine community’s radar in 1889. That’s not to mention that California’s best-known wine regions use grapes grown right in Tri-Valley.
This long-standing wine region is just like the beverages it makes: It only gets better with age! The vineyard scene is booming here, with more than 50 wineries to explore in a fun, laid-back setting. What else do we offer? We’re glad you asked!
Tri-Valley is located conveniently near three airports: San Francisco International Airport, Oakland International Airport and Mineta San José International Airport. No matter where you want to arrive — even if you want to check out the Golden Gate Bridge before heading toward Tri-Valley — you can get here by train, car, bus or BART.
While California tasting fees are notably pricey, Livermore Valley’s tasting fees are designed to let you sample a large selection of its wine offerings. They tend to be about $10 less than average California wine country tasting fees, but you get the same number of options to try. With more than 50 wineries to choose from, the hardest part will be deciding where to go first. If you need ideas, hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley! It can literally show you where to start.
Tri-Valley’s hotels often host numerous business travelers during the week, but they’re the perfect getaway for the weekend. These venues provide a wonderful place to stay, whether you’re looking for a girls’ getaway, a boys’ night on the town or a mini-vacation with the kids. No matter which Tri-Valley city you’re in, you have plenty of lodging options to choose from.
Tri-Valley visitors can choose from any number of cuisines available, whether they’re looking for a rich gourmet dinner or hoping for a quick bite to eat between vineyard tours. Options range from Mediterranean-California fusion to Southern-inspired barbecue to just about anything else you can imagine. If you’re more focused on getting your wine on (no shame — we get it!), several of the region’s wineries also serve food.
The wineries in Tri-Valley are still unaffected by the California wine hype that can send the cost of a bottle skyrocketing, allowing our undiscovered vintners to focus on continuously crafting delicious, high-quality wines. While some Tri-Valley vintages can inch above $100, the price is due to quality and craftsmanship, not a fancy label.
Try Wente Vineyards’ Nth Degree Cabernet Sauvignon, which spent 22 months aging in barrels made from Eastern European, French and neutral oak. Every vine producing grapes for this wine was examined at least 15 times by hand to ensure perfection. Other fine wines like Steven Kent Winery’s Lineage collection and Nottingham Cellars’ Supremacy series are sure to please refined wine enthusiasts and novices alike.
Tri-Valley is a hidden gem among California’s wine countries. As you fix your eye on California for your next trip, set your sights on the sunny side of the Bay Area!