New World Wines from the Livermore Valley, California


The #WinePW blogging group is traveling to Livermore Valley virtually tomorrow and I am writing a post about a specific wine but this is a more general post I had written some years ago and found again today so I thought I would share it as the region is much on my mind.

Apparently C. H Wente, James Concannon and Charles Wetmore founded the first wineries in the Valley in the 1880s. According to the association’s website, the “Livermore Valley put California on the World Wine Map by capturing America’s First Gold Medal for Wine in the 1889 Paris Exposition.” Today there are many more wineries in the area and it lies just an hour east of San Francisco as you can see from the map.

An odd fact is also mentioned on their website, “Nearly 80% of California’s Chardonnay vines trace their genetic roots to a Livermore Valley clone.” Who would have thought that? Certainly not me.

Some of the secrets to the success of the Livermore Valley in creating great wines include the fact that it runs from East to West, its great diurnal temperature swings, its microclimates, rock soils, elevation 500-1000 ft above sea level and its long growing season.

The area also permits grapes to have good acidity as well as phenolic ripeness, not always an easy task. Moreover, the soils maintain enough heat here but do not have “wet feet” from irrigation.  I look forward to visiting on my next trip to San Francisco.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.