Hero Image

5 Tips for Barrel Tasting Weekend

Pouring wine at winery

Every year, Livermore Valley wineries partner up for an entire weekend of sampling wines straight from the barrel. This year is shaping out to be especially buzz-worthy, with more than 30 wineries, two breweries (and even a distillery) participating in this weekend-long affair. Whether you’ve never attended this exciting event before or you’re a long-time fan of the Livermore Valley Wine Country, read up on our list of tips for how to get the most out of this upcoming Barrel Tasting Weekend.

Monica's Livermore

Monica’s Livermore

📸: @genuinelydan

1. Get Your Brunch On

With over 30 wineries on this year’s Barrel Tasting Weekend lineup, you’ll want to start each day off with a good meal. Purchase a brunch bundle ticket at lvwine.org which includes admission to Barrel Tasting Weekend and Saturday morning brunch at Garré Vineyard & Winery (11:30am – 1:30pm). Other great brunch options in Livermore include: The Press (locations in Livermore & Pleasanton), Parchments Cafe, Monica’s Livermore, and Denica’s Real Food Kitchen (locations in Livermore & Dublin). 

Painted Barrel Trail

McGrail Vineyards

📸: @andbmerry

2. Follow the Painted Barrel Trail

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, Embodied Wines, Fenestra Winery, McGrail Vineyards & Winery, Murrieta’s Well, Omega Road Winery, Retzlaff Vineyards, Wente Estate Tasting Room & Wood Family Vineyards.


3. Plan Your Transportation

Luckily for designated drivers, there are no non-drinking tickets to this event. D.D’s 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, arrange your transportation locally. While some wineries are close enough to walk to and other wineries are within Uber/Lyft distance, you have other options. 

Transportation Packages:

1. Cruise around the vineyards with Pedego Livermore’s Barrel Tasting Weekend Package which includes admission for both days and an electric bike rental for one day (11am – 5:30pm). 

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 or book a private shuttle with family and friends.

4. 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! 

Live Music at Barrel Tasting Weekend

4. Don't Miss Out on Activities

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 blind tastings at Charles R Vineyards, the bee-keeping demonstrations at el Sol Winery, the live birds of prey display at Embodied Wines or the bio-dynamic vineyard tours at Page Mill Winery! 

5. Meet the Winemakers

Our small mom-and-pop family-owned wineries are what makes the Livermore Valley Wine Country so unique. When you tour through this wine region, 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.