Another brilliant day of a break from the rain and fog. It is a bit muggy outside, a rarity for San Francisco. Warms things up nicely. I have to scurry about this morning in order to get some things done before leaving for Livermore Valley to spend the afternoon eating lunch and drinking wine with my good friends at Concannon Vineyard. I drove over to James’s house and parked. He was nice enough to drive. I swear, I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I can’t drink so much as one glass of wine and be able to drive confidently. You’d think with all the drinking practice over the years my tolerance would increase. Nope. I’m like a sorority girl after a wine cooler on ice.
Out to Livermore we drove. Strangely, we were passed by no fewer than a dozen motorcycle cops. CHIPS at its best. Didn’t see anything up the road that seemed to warrant it. No matter… wouldn’t keep up from getting to the wine.
Unfortunately Jim wasn’t able to join us. But we still had John and he’s just a pleasure to hang out with for a few hours. And I am very grateful for the time that he’s given me over the past few months. With the winery and now the whiskey, he’s got to have a ridiculous schedule.
First, since it was James’s first time out there, John gave us the grand tour. Getting the real insider’s perspective on the process the grapes go through there…wine to bottle. Their property is gorgeous. And there is something alluring about the smell of a barrel room that I just can’t explain.
After about an hour tour, we head to their recently renovated restaurant and wine bar. We elected to sit outside since it was so welcoming and warm. We ordered a few snacks…my favs are the rosemary cashews and the homemade potato chips. A cheese plate, pulled pork sandwich and capped things off with yummy desserts. Concannon wine pairing along the way. Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Mother Vine Cabernet Sauvigon, and of course the Captain Joe’s Petite Sirah. Delicious.
We parted ways with John about 3:30. Just enough time to hit one more winery and do some tasting. I recommended we go to Murrieta’s Well. Something I truly appreciate about Livermore Valley wine tasting is how welcoming, hospitable and non-pretentious they all are. We walked up a beautiful staircase surrounded by fragrant flowers up to their picturesque tasting room. My favorites here are their Cabernet Franc and Spur. The Spur you should be able to find outside the tasting room…but the Cab Franc is tasting room only. So you’ll have to make the short hour drive to Livermore to pick some up.