Friday, September 04, 2009

Mac's Wine Events Calendar for SEPT 2009: Livermore Wine Fest AND MORE

Dear Wine-Loving Friends:

This is your September 2009 Wine Events newsletter from Mac McCarthy/ -- Wine Events for the San Francisco/Northern California area, mainly East Bay/Livermore.

Sun, Sept 6 and Mon, Sept 7-Noon-5/4PM - Labor Day Weekend


At various wineries in the Livermore Valley AND ALSO in Robertson Park.

About 20 wineries will pour at their own winery facilities (Mac's warning: Your ticket gets you two drinks at each winery. To try "the good stuff" you have to pay extra, about ten bucks at each winery.)

-->WE RECOMMEND you try the 20 new/small/outlying wineries pouring at the HARVEST VILLAGE, a large white tent at Robertson Park in Livermore. Here you can try something new and fresh! There are bound to be new interesting wineries you haven't heard of yet, even if you visit Livermore regularly. And you will get your two drinks per winery and not have to hop in your car or shuttle--just move to the next table. I found many wonderful wines/wineries at this tent last year!

OTOH, at the wineries they have live music, arts and crafts vendors, and food vendors. Myeh!
Your ticket gets you rides on the free shuttle busses from one winery to the next ON SUNDAY ONLY, which they expect to be the busiest day. On Monday, you're on your own. Yet another reason to start (and maybe end) with Robertson Park.

PS: During the wine fest, you can only get INTO the wineries if you hold a ticket. (Which also gets you a free wine glass.)

2-Day Ticket $50 advance/$75 day of event
Sunday-Only Ticket $45; Monday-Only Ticket $40. Obviously not saving much on a one-day.
Non-Drinking Ticket $10, valid for both days! Yay! designated drivers!

Go to for tickets (click the poster on the upper right) and more details and a map. Or get tickets at The Wine Steward in Pleasanton, First Street Wine Country in Livermore, or at participating wineries

Wineries pouring at the Harvest Village at Robertson Park include (asterisks are my favs--I like them all, these are just extra extra):

Bodegas Aguirre Winery
Cedar Mountain Winery
Concannon Vineyard
Cuda Ridge Wines
Deer Ridge Vineyards
Eagle Ridge Winery
Eckert Estate Winery
El Sol Winery
Elliston Vineyards
Fenestra Winery*
Les Chênes Estate Vineyards
Little Valley Winery
Longevity Wines**
Occasio Winery
Page Mill Winery
Ruby Hill Winery
Ryhan Estate Vineyards*
Tenuta Vineyards
Thomas Coyne Winery*
Wente Vineyards Estates
Westover/Palomares Wineries*
Wineries Pouring at their own wineries:
Chouinard Vineyards
Bent Creek Winery*
Big White House
Charles R Vineyards
Crooked Vine/Stony Ridge*
Garré Winery and Café
La Rochelle Winery
McGrail Vineyards
Mitchell Katz Winery
Murrieta’s Well
Retzlaff Estate Winery*
Rodrigue Monyneaux Winery
The Singing Winemaker
The Steven Kent Winery
Tamás Estates
Wente Vineyards TR
White Crane
Wood Family*

Thurs Sept. 10, 5-7pm: "$1 Wine Tasting" w/ La Rochelle Winery @ Franklin Square Restaurant, 2212 Broadway, Oakland.

"Franklin Square Restaurant & Wine Bar hosts $1 Wine Tasting Every Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. This week we feature the wines of La Rochelle Winery.

"La Rochelle Winery is located in Livermore and produces some of the finest Pinot Noirs in the area. They source their grapes from vineyards throughout California and Oregon. Their vineyard partners are located in top Pinot-producing regions, such as Russian River, Santa Lucia, Arroyo Seco, Chalone, Umpqua Valley and others.

"Check out Franklin Square's Summer Calendar of music & $1 wine tastings at Be sure to sign up for our event newsletter."

at the Livermore winery, 4948 Tesla Road, 94550, (925) 449-0458

Fri. Sept. 11, 6-9pm: Wine-Down Friday- The Hurricane Band
Sat. Sept. 26, 6-9pm: Summer Mini-Concert: Red House All-Stars
Fri. Oct. 9, 6-9pm: Wine-Down Friday: CoolTunes
Sat. Oct. 24, 6-9pm: Summer (?) Mini Concert: The Catfish Boys
Wine, beer, and food available for purchase on site.

at their place in Berkeley: 323 B Fourth Street, 510-868-9174

They were at the Urban Wine thing last month and it's good stuff, let me tell you. Mostly Syrahs - yum!

"Twice a year we throw a big party to celebrate our newest creations. This fall we debut 6 new wines plus there are always a few older bottles passed around, not to mention a sneak peek of what's to come with barrel samples. While tasting our libations you can groove to the live Brazilian-jazzy tunes from the Steve Bennett Trio. To top it all of we are thrilled to have our friends from old Oakland's B Restaurant and Bar on hand showcasing their talents and proving once and for all BBQ + Syrah = True Love."

Admission is $20 in advance at
OR $30 at the door (cash only). Ticket includes souvenir Riedel glass -- or save carbon, BYOG (glass) and save $ with a $10 off voucher for any wine purchase. DONKEYANDGOAT.COM/OPENHOUSE

Sept 12 noon-5pm: 14th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival!

OK, this has NOTHING to do with Wine, but -- it's CHOCOLATE!

Ah! Actually, there IS wine at this event -- Cost Plus is hosting a wne-and-chocolate bar! Event is free, but you have to buy tickets, like at Santa Cruz, to get a drink around here: $20 gets you 15 tastes!

Sept 12, 1-5:30pm - Vinos Unicos Imports Wine Tasting @ Vintage Berkeley

"Luis Moya's back in town, folks. Importer and newly christened winemaker extraordinaire, Luis will be pouring some of Spain and Portugal's finest, along with his very own tasty California Red Blend. There are rumblings that there's going to be Paella involved..."


Note: This tasting takes place at BOTH Vintage Berkeley locations:
from 1 - 3 p.m. @ VB Vine Street
from 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. @ VB Elmwood (College Ave @ Ashby)

Sept 13 - Sunday - 11-6pm MONTCLAIR JAZZ & WINE FAIR in the Montclair Village, 6128 LaSalle Ave at Moraga Ave, Oakland.

Admission to the festival is free, but you need a ticket to taste wine at the Wine Pavillion: $30/person or $50/couple. Go to to print out a $5-off coupon.

"The wine lineup is very impressive this year, with over 25 participating wineries, including store favorites Aubin, Broc, Esterlina, JC Cellars, Keenan, Steven Kent, and Unti." Hmmm. Never heard of Broc, Esterlina, or Unti -- wineries I don't know -- that makes it much more fun! Also fun: Farmstead Cheeses & Wines, the fine cheese purveyer in the Alameda Marketplace, will have a booth there too. Yum.

"Between tastes, grab a chair at the Main Stage and enjoy great free jazz from top artists, including Wayne Wallace, Taylor Eigsti and Kitty Margolis. Browse artists' booths and food stands and take advantage of Kids' Town entertainment for children."

400 A Villa St., Mountain View, California 94041

Wine tasting: Featured Winery: CAYMUS VINEYARDS!
Friday September 4th, 2009, 4:00PM - 7:00PM


You've heard of this cult vineyard - now taste not one but TEN of their best! Worth driving over to Mountain View!

This is a walk-around event, you may come by anytime between 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM.


Sept 5, Sat., 2-5pm: "SPANISH SUPERSTARS: A Lip-Smackingly Tasty Tour of Spain"
Tickets $24.71 online, $29.29 walk-in - and no, I don't know why their prices are so oddball!

Sept 12: Tasting Tour: Rising Stars of ARGENTINA & CHILE
2-5pm, tickets $15.56 online and $20.14 walk-in.

If you haven't gotten around to tasting what they're doing these days in Chile and especially Argentina, you owe it to yourself to catch up!

Yes, taste South American wines cheaper than that SF event elsewhere in this newsletter--probably not the *same* wines, and the SF event has a hundred of them, and you have to drive down to Mountain View -- but still!

Sept 18 - Grand Tour of Italy Part 1
Sept 19 - Tasting Tour: Wines of the Northwest
Sept 25 - Grand Tour of Italy Part 2

Click here to see the full calendar of events

Sat., Sept. 12, 1-5pm: SonRise Equestrian Foundation's 3rd Annual WINE & EQUINE FESTIVAL, Castro Valley. Fundraiser: $75.

Murrieta’s Well Winery cohosts. "Fun-filled day of gourmet barbeque, fine wines, live and silent auction, wine cellar raffle and horse show featuring world renowned Charles Wilhelm and the children of SonRise, held at one of the most beautiful ranches in Castro Valley. This unique fundraiser provides funds to assist children through crisis while rescuing horses in need. Please purchase tickets at .

Location: Charles Wilhelm Training Center, 6496 Crow Canyon Rd.,
Castro Valley, CA 94552; ph. 925-838-RIDE


More than 100 businesses throughout Los Gatos have special offerings and sales throughout the day, including Fleming Jenkins Winery, the one owned by skating star Peggy Fleming -- who is at it turns out very nice, and her and her husband's wines are very, very good.

Free valet parking and maps -- see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce website.

Tues Sept 15, 8pm: Farmstead Artisan Cheeses & Wines WINE DINNER

The Alameda Marketplace cheesemonger is hosting a wine dinner at Rivoli Restaurant on Solano in Berkeley. Here's what they say:

"Our Wine Dinner with Jenny Williamson Doré and Dick Doré from Foxen at the Wood Tavern this week was stunning. Wood's chef Max diMare pulled out all of the stops and Rich and Rebecca Wood were consummate hosts, orchestrating the service like Paganini. A great time was had by all.

"So, we've scheduled another Pinot Noir-centric dinner, this time at the fabulous Rivoli Restaurant on Solano in Berkeley, featuring wines from Dutton-Goldfield, with winemaker Dan Goldfield on hand to present the wines!

"The four-course dinner is priced at $80 per person, plus tax and gratuity ($100 total) -- $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity ($95 total) for Farmstead Wine Club members in good standing. Four courses, five wines.

"Our last wine dinner sold out in a flash, so don't miss out! Prepaid reservations are a necessity, so call 510 864 9463 to make yours.

Sat Sept. 15, 1:30-2;30pm: "DRINK BLIND: learn how Master Sommeliers determine blind wines"

Two Mile Wines, 2816 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, ph. 510.868.8713

"Two Mile wines with perfect pairings: Learn the fundamentals of food and wine pairing and what works for you. Taste three delicious Two Mile Wines and three gourmet food pairings to go with them. Discover why the perfect match elevates both the food AND the wine.

"Class size is limited to 20 people. Take home your favorite class wines at a discount. Sign-up for three or more classes and take an additional 10% off each class.

"These classes are so popular they are selling out fast. Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy these educational and entertaining wine classes by Maria Terry, La Sommelierre, created especially for Two Mile Wines. Reserve your space today! Check out our website for more information Two Mile-- The best wines and most unique wine education classes in the East Bay!"


Stroll through the high-end shops and restaurants of downtown Walnut Creek while enjoying fine local wines,served outdoors at participating locations. $25 advance at , $30 day of, includes glass. Parking is easy at the Locust St Garage. Starts at the Pro Home Systems store at 1561 Civic Drive 94596.


480 Hartz Ave, Danville, CA 94526 (925) 820-7210. Cost $5-10.

"Lewis wines begin as numerous small lots of fruit identified by vineyard and varietal. The Chardonnay is 100% whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented and aged sur lies in 100% French oak for 11 months. We aim for a rich, complex and balanced wine.The reds are picked at full maturity, undergoing extended maceration for approximately 22 days, aged in 70% new French and American oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. We like big, spicy, concentrated wines full of black fruit with soft, mouth coating tannins."

Sat., Sept 19 and again Sat. Sept 26: Harvest Tour & Tasting at Wente Vineyards in Livermore

"Experience a unique behind the scenes harvest tour and tasting at Wente Vineyards

"Wente Vineyards invites you to experience the winery as never before with this rare behind the scenes tour and tasting during the upcoming 2009 harvest. Learn how Wente Vineyards produces world class wines. See the processing first hand and sample some current vintages from our small lot winery as well as a barrel sample from an upcoming vintage."

Tour and tasting times: 10 AM, 12 pm, 2 pm, and 4 pm. Reservations are required and tour space is limited. $20 to the public and $15 to wine club members. Book by calling 925-456-2305 ext. 4 or visit . Wente is at 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 95337.

Sat. Sept 19, 2-4pm: PORT SEMINAR & TASTING
Learn from Cedar Mountain Winery's Winemaker, Earl Ault, how port is made. Taste a variety of award-winning Cedar Mountain Ports, along with California and Portuguese Ports. Light appetizers will be served. Advance reservations required. $10 /person, $7/club members. Limited to 30 people. Call for reservations. (925) 373-6636. Cedar Mountain is at 7000 Tesla Road, Livermore 94550.

Sat. Sept. 26, 7-9pm: PORT AND CIGARS TASTING!

"Join us for a relaxing evening of Port and Cigars on the events deck. Cedar Mountain Winery has partnered with Vino Cellars & Accessories to present you with some of the finest port and cigars available in the Livermore Valley.

"This special one-night event will highlight a fine selection of Cedar Mountain Port and 2-premium cigars (90 pt. or more) hand picked by Vino Cellars and Accessories from downtown Livermore. Hor d' eouvres will be provided. Practice your smoke rings! There will be a prize for the biggest smoke ring!

Tickets $35/person before Sept. 22nd; $40 after. Advance reservations required: Call Cedar Mt tasting room at (925) 373-6636 or Vino Cellars at (925) 447-8000.

Sat, Sept 26, 6pm: Girls Incorporated's 18th Annual
WOMEN OF TASTE Event -- at the Oakland Museum's outdoor gardens.

"Join leading Bay Area chefs for an evening of fine cuisine benefiting Girls Incorporated of Alameda County in its mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold!
"This unforgettable affair features tastings from over 30 notable restaurants and 20 beverage companies, an extensive silent auction, live entertainment, dancing, and an art exhibit."

[Interested in participating in Women of Taste as a sponsor, chef, beverage vendor, or auction donor? Contact Grace Boone at or 510-357-5515x219.]

Sat. Sept. 26, 1-4pm: Dee Vine Wines - RIESLING REVELRY
At Dee Vine Wines, Pier 19, The Embarcadero, SF 94111, (415) 398-3838. Off the Embarcadero between Green and Battery.

$25 is all. I love German/Alsatian whites! Plus they're showing red Spaetburgunders! The lineup for this tasting is insane. I shouldn't post the whole list here, but I can't help it! I'm drooling!

"We will be featuring new 2008 German Rieslings and for the first time, Fred Prinz Spätburgunders! A selection of cheese and charcuterie from Cheese Plus on Polk will be paired with the wines."

WEINGUT FRITZ HAAG (That's the distributor/importer)
2008 Estate Riesling
2008 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett
2008 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spätlese

2008 Leiwener Klostergarten Kabinett
2008 Trittenheimer Apotheke Spätlese

2008 “vom roten Schiefer” Kabinett

2008 Estate Riesling trocken
2008 Lenz halbtrocken
2008 Mineral trocken
2008 Monzinger Kabinett
2008 Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Spätlese
2008 Monzinger Halenberg Spätlese

2008 Hallgartener Schönhell Kabinett trocken
2008 Hallgartener Jungfer Kabinett
2007 Spätburgunder trocken
2007 Hendelberg Spätburgunder trocken

Thurs., Oct.15, 6-9pm: SAVOR SOUTH AFRICA at the Officer's Club at Fort Mason.

Nice venue with a view, plus 100 wines from such stellar wine regions as he Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschoek, Walker Bay and Constantia. In addition to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinot Noir, you'll try their world-class Chenin Blanc and intriguing Pinotage. And nibbles and music.

Tickets $38 throug Oct. 7, $45 after, $50 at door (if avail.). Purchase 5 tickets for the price of 4 and bring the group. Buy tickets at . Sponsor: Uncorked Events of SF.

Fri., Nov. 6, evening: Prospect 772 Wine Company Release Party, to celebrate this urban winery's latest wines, will be held at At JC Cellars Winery: 55 4th Street in Oakland. More details in next month's newsletter!

Sat., Nov 14: SF VINTNERS MARKET at Fort Mason Center, Noon to 6pm at Ft Mason, $15 general, $50 reserve-level access.

"Tired of going to wine tasting events, discovering great new wines and then never being able to find them again? We were too. That’s why we created San Francisco Vintners Market at Fort Mason Center. This first of its kind wine tasting and buying event is a farmer’s market style shopping experience where wine enthusiasts can try and buy wines from over 300 wineries.

"The San Francisco Vintners Market will feature top local wineries from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Russian River Valley and other regional wineries plus imported wines from around the world. San Francisco Vintners Market features wine at all price points and styles including new releases, library collections and end-of-vintage selections—all available for immediate purchase."

This will be a very cool new event. I'll be there! Look for me! - mac

And for those who Just Can't Get Enough, how about:

Sat., Oct. 10, noon to midnight: BOUTIQUE WINE TOUR

$367.50 per person. (I like the nice unrounded number; it adds an air of careful calculation.) Get tickets at

Described by the vendor as follows:

This is an exclusive wine tour of some of Napa Valley's most prestigious artisanal wines, just off the beaten tourist path.

This tour takes you on a private shuttle from the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Calistoga for our first stop at Schramsberg Vineyards. We'll be meeting the winemakers and touring facilities immersed in the history of the valley. Next stop is Rutherford at the newly renovated Alpha Omega tasting room. Finally, we round up our wine tour at Hill Family Estate in Yountville.

Following the close of our tour, we can relax and stroll about the shops and facilities of the charming Yountville, often referred to as the valley's "European village." Our day will end with a magical dinner feast at Celebrity Chef Michael Chiarello's new restaurant Bottega.

As an added bonus, each of the wineries have partnered with Bounty Hunter Rare Wine Co., a Napa-based wine retailer for beginners, collectors and aficionados alike. Any wine sampled along our tour can be purchased and shipped with ease, eliminating the hassle and worries of shipping precious cargo.

So all you would need to do is fill out your information, order and form of payment...the rest will be handled. Rest assured, your wine order will arrive safely upon your return home!

$367.50 per person includes transportation to and from the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and along entire tour, box lunch on shuttle, all winery tours & tasting fees, dinner (with select non-alcoholic beverage), taxes, tips and wine tour guide package.

For a pdf brochure of this amazing upcoming event, please e-mail

*FOR MORE LOCAL WINE EVENTS -- GO TO Local Wine for a long list of upcoming wine-related events in the East Bay.

OR GO TO for the same for the Livermore Valley.

You can also sign up for biweekly email alerts for these or other regions you choose!



Hope to see you at an upcoming event. Ping me at if you want to meet up.


Mac McCarthy
http:/// - Mac McCarthy and Lew Perdue's wine advice site (in beta)

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