Wineries

Livermore Stories: Nottingham Cellars

This is another installment of a series called “Livermore Stories,” which takes a look at the most exciting wineries in this wine growing region located east of San Francisco.  More than 50 wineries now call Livermore Valley home.  The wines have never been better, and the wineries have great stories to tell. He’s been called a rising star, a rock star of the Livermore Valley wine scene.  He’s a young gun for sure – in his late 20’s – a completely self taught winemaker.  Meet Collin Cranor of Nottingham Cellars.  Two years ago, when I first tasted his Viognier and GSM – Grenache, Syrah Mourvedre blend that is – I was completely blown away.  This guy’s a major talent. While he didn’t get the top honor, Best of Show, at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition [that went to friends and neighboring Livermore winery 3 Steves] Collin’s wines took…

Livermore Stories: Cuda Ridge Wines

This is another installment of a series called “Livermore Stories,” which takes a look at the most exciting wineries in this wine growing region located east of San Francisco.  More than 50 wineries now call Livermore Valley home.  The wines have never been better, and the wineries have great stories to tell.  For Cuda Ridge Wines owner Larry Dino, the color “Plum Crazy Purple” has more than one meaning.  It’s the color of his restored 1970 Plymouth Barracuda muscle car that he saw one day on the side of the road, driving back to his home in Fremont, Calif, from looking for vineyard land in Sonoma (he eventually bought in Livermore Valley). “My wife said it looked like a bunch of garbage,” he says. Plum Crazy Purple is an original color for the Barracuda, and Larry spent three years refurbing the car, spending both lots of time and money on it. …

Livermore Stories: Darcie Kent Vineyards

This is the first in a series called “Livermore Stories,” which takes a look at the most exciting wineries in this wine growing region east of San Francisco.  More than 50 wineries now call Livermore Valley home, and the wines have never been better, and the wineries have great stories to tell.  Darcie Kent is back.  “I’m still learning Cabernet Franc,” says the Livermore Valley vintner as she’s sorting beautiful grapes just picked from her home vineyard during the 2013 harvest.  “This is just a luscious, luscious berry, it’s one of my favorite wines.” I first met Darcie in 2002 when she was just launching her namesake label, Darcie Kent Vineyards.  At the time, she was making only one wine, a Merlot, which is was what was planted in her home vineyard.  “We were doing a rip-roaring 50 to 100 cases out of my garage,” she says.  We taped a story…

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