Livermore Valley wineries are gearing up for the return of Taste Our Terroir, a food and wine experience set to run from July 14-17.
The four-day affair will offer 13 events, including a winemaker dinner in an olive orchard, an electric bike tour and a sensory extravaganza, organizers said.
Taste Our Terroir aims to educate wine enthusiasts about the Livermore Valley wine region's unique "taste of the land" and celebrate all it has to offer. A word from the French language, "terroir" refers to the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography and climate.
The festivities will kick off next Thursday (July 14) with the wine-and-food pairing competition, which was previously held every year but is returning from hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 11 wineries are partnering with chefs from local restaurants to create signature bites to complement the wines.
While last year's Taste Our Terroir featured a mix of in-person and virtual events, all events are back in person this time around.
Tickets are still available for several of the festivities but four have already sold out, including "Stop and Smell the Rosés," "Taste the Best Cabernet Vintage in Decades," "Secrets of a Sommelier" and the very last event of the weekend, "Sweet Endings, Port and Chocolate Tasting."
Thursday, July 14
* Wine and Food Pairing Competition. 6-9 p.m. (5 p.m. VIP ticket)
Livermore Valley wineries and their chef partners from local restaurants will compete for prizes in a blind tasting overseen by Bay Area culinary and wine media judges at Garré Vineyard & Winery. Guests will have the opportunity to be a part of the competition by voting in the People's Choice category for the best team. A silent auction will feature items available for bid. $95 ($135 VIP)
Friday, July 15
* The Hills are Alive... 9-11 a.m.
A journey through the vineyards at Murrieta's Well leads participants on a hike with views of the Livermore Valley as they learn about the winery's "small lot" approach to wine growing. After the trek, handcrafted wines and small bites from the winery's culinary team will be served. $70
* Cheese and Wine Pairing. Noon-2 p.m.
Cheese monger Brandon Wood from The Cheese Parlor will guide a pairing of artisanal cheeses and local wines at Fenestra Winery, sharing behind-the-scenes knowledge of the cheese-making and aging process. Featured wines are from Fenestra Winery, Garré Vineyard & Winery and Del Valle Winery. $55
* Cabernet Franc Retrospective. 4-6 p.m.
Steven Kent Mirassou and the Lineage Wine Collection winemaking team will discuss all things Cabernet Franc. Guests can learn about the history of this varietal while tasting samples from native France along with Cabernet Franc wines from the Livermore Valley at The Cellar at The Lineage Wine Collection. $65
* Livermore Valley Vintners Collective Winemakers Dinner. 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Set in an olive orchard at Purple Orchid Inn, this four-course farm-to-table dinner from On the Vine Catering will be paired with 2019 vintage wines from the Livermore Valley Vintners' Collective. Hosted by Fenestra Winery, John Evan Cellars, Las Positas Vineyards, Page Mill Winery and Wood Family Vineyards. $175
Saturday, July 16
* Pedego Wine Trail. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
A day of cycling to four wineries with provided snacks, lunch, tastings and educational tours. Stops include Page Mill Winery, Charles R Vineyards, Big White House and Wood Family Vineyards with the starting point downtown at Pedego Electric Bikes. $220
* Stop and Smell the Rosés at Rosa Fierro Cellars. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Rosa Fierro from Rosa Fierro Cellars, Alexandra Henkelman from Omega Road Winery, Beth Refsnider from The Lineage Collection and Samantha Bunegin from Las Positas Vineyards facilitate a tasting and discussion of each of their wines. Light bites will be provided by Charming Fig Catering. Sold out.
* Taste the Best Cabernet Vintage in Decades at McGrail Vineyards. 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Winemakers from Cellar 13, Cuda Ridge Winery, Darcie Kent Estate Winery, McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Wente Vineyards and The Lineage Collection host a collective tasting of 2017 Livermore Valley Cabernet-based wines. Sold out.
* Secrets of a Sommelier at Concannon Vineyard. 4-6 p.m.
Sommelier LeeAnn Kaufman will spill the secrets of all things wine where guests will learn how to experience each bottle including proper serving temperature, how to find that perfect glass and more. Cheese pairings with master of cheese, Eagle Harper will also be available. Sold out.
Sunday, July 17
* Yoga and Rosé at Concannon Vineyard. 9-11 a.m.
Certified yoga instructor Lisa Stanford will lead a class on the lawn outside Concannon Vineyard's Victorian home. The class will be followed by a glass of rosé. $35
* Sensory Extravaganza at Nottingham Cellars. 1-2:30 p.m.
Participants will meet sommelier Jeremy Troupe-Masi at a 16-foot sensory bar to look, smell, touch and taste their way through more than 40 flavors and aromas. Wines will be paired with cheese selected by local Cheese Monger Brandon Wood of The Cheese Parlor. $75
* Sweet Endings, Port and Chocolate Tasting. 3-5 p.m.
At the final event of Taste Our Terroir weekend, guests will learn how port is made. Cedar Mountain's Winemaker Earl Ault will pour white and red ports paired with a variety of chocolates. Sold out.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit lvwine.org.