Livermore Valley AVA
The Livermore Valley wine region comes with a history dating back to the late 1800s. In the year 1882, Charles Wetmore introduced French cuttings of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon to his Cresta Blanca Vineyard. These French grape clippings came from the notorious estate of Château d’Yquem in Sauternes, France. Prohibition severely hindered the wine industry in Livermore Valley for a while, but by the 1960s, production was equal to that of Napa Valley.
The Livermore Valley AVA occupies an area at the eastern end of the San Francisco Bay AVA in Alameda County. With a total of 237,166 acres, 2,718 are planted to wide variation of terroir that ranges from gentle hills to ancient riverbeds. The Valley is surrounded by low hills, which serve as a climatic buffer from the famous fog of San Francisco.
The climate is Mediterranean in nature with hot dry summers followed by mild rainy winters. Cool ocean breezes provide the temperature moderating effect that gives the grapes a chance to cool overnight, slowing the ripening process and ensuring flavor complexity in the grapes.
Deep gravely soils in the Livermore Valley wine country are excellent for the production of premium grapes. Drainage capabilities mean vines grow deep root systems to access water and nutrients in the ground. This Livermore limestone soil is similar to what is found in Bordeaux, being gritty and well draining. This soil is perfect for producing outstanding Sauvignon Blanc.
A big complication the Livermore Valley AVA has faced is the conversion of much of the Silicon Valley from agricultural ranch land to more urban housing expansions and strip malls. As Livermore Valley vineyards transformed and disappeared, many Livermore Valley wine growers and wine producers turned to Monterey County for fruit.
A long list of Livermore Valley wineries and vineyards exist, but the most renowned are the originals, the Cresta Blanca Winery, and the Wente Vineyards. The area known of course for the production of premium wines made of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon eventually became known for their Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay as well.
We offer a variety of wines from this region in our monthly wine club box. Enjoy!