Every year, Livermore Valley wineries partner up for an entire weekend of meeting winemakers, stocking up on futures, and sampling wines straight from the barrel. This year is shaping out to be especially buzz-worthy, with more than 30 wineries participating in this 2-day affair. Whether you’ve never attended this event before or you’re a long-time fan of the Livermore Valley Wine Country, these are our top five reasons to love Barrel Tasting Weekend.
There’s no better way to ring in a weekend of wine tasting than with a delicious brunch. Start the weekend off with an exclusive Barrel Tasting Weekend Brunch, hosted by Garré Café at the Martinelli Center. Other great brunch options in Livermore include: The Press, Parchments Cafe, Monica’s Livermore, and Denica’s Real Food Kitchen.
There are 11 hand-painted wine barrels, each painted by a local artist, scattered throughout the Livermore Valley. Visit various wineries (listed below) to view these works of art or purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to take one of them home. Each winery on the Painted Barrel Trail is participating in Barrel Tasting Weekend, and raffle winners will also be rewarded a case of Livermore Valley wine.
Painted Barrel Trail Participants:
Big White House Winery, Charles R Vineyards, Eagle Ridge Vineyard, Fenestra Winery, McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Omega Road, Garré Vineyard & Winery, Page Mill Winery, Leisure Street Winery, Retzlaff Vineyards & Wente Estate Tasting Room.
Luckily for designated drivers, those who are not sipping wine are free to follow along with Barrel Tasting Weekend participants at no cost. However, if you can’t find a reliable friend who’s able to turn down Livermore Valley wines there are plenty of other transportation options. While some wineries are close enough to walk to and other wineries are within Uber/Lyft distance, here are some fun alternatives:
1. Cruise around the vineyards with electric bikes! Rent an e-bike from Pedego Livermore and zip around the Livermore Valley in style.
2. Traveling with a large group? Reserve your own private wine trolley from Livermore Wine Trolley. Visit their website for more information.
3. Be chauffeured throughout the Livermore Valley Wine Country with Extraordinary Tour Services, take advantage of their shuttle package which includes tickets to the event or book a private shuttle with family and friends.
4. Live the life of luxury and book a chauffeured limo, town car, or shuttle for your group of any size with Black Tie Transportation.
These packages go fast, so plan your transportation today!
With so much going on in the Tri-Valley for Barrel Tasting Weekend, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement (and tastings). Download or print out the weekend activity sheet with each winery’s samplings, weekend specials, live music options, and food offerings. You won’t want to miss the Port and Jelly Belly Pairings at Cedar Mountain Winery, or yours chance to stomp on grapes and bottle your own wine at Ehrenberg Cellars.
When you tour through the Livermore Valley Wine Country, you’re likely to shake hands with many of the passionate winemakers who normally work behind the scenes. Keep an eye on the “Winemaker Present” column on the weekend activity sheet that indicates which winery’s winemakers will be on-site during Barrel Tasting Weekend.