I’ve been working on a new article for edible East Bay for the last couple months, and I’m almost done! My harddrive on my eight-year-old computer died on Friday so I’ve been delayed by a short time.
Today I went to Las Positas Winery in Livermore. It was shortly before noon and I was killing time before going over to Thomas Coyne to take some photographs for the article. I had my dear son in tow so my movements were somewhat limited.
I pulled into the driveway at the old Livermore Cellars and was disappointed to be told by a woman in the house that the winery was not operating. I had gone out there in the early 90’s with my ex husband and had a wonderful time at the modest vineyard.
I traveled a little bit further east on Wetmore Avenue and saw a new tasting room building and outbuilding labeled “Las Positas Winery.” I attended an advertising class at Las Positas for my degree in 2007 and knew that Las Positas College had an extensive viticulture program. I assumed by the name of the winery that this was a public extension of the school’s vineyards which are on the north side of the campus.
The winery is in fact owned by a couple named Lothar and Lisa Maier. http://laspositasvineyards.com/About_Us.html
My son and I went into the tasting room. It was so new there was still a distinct odor of paint on the walls and furniture polish from the new wood tables and stools. When I told the manager that I was with a local food magazine but was waiting for another winery down the road to open, he invited me to taste some of the wines, sans tasting fee.
The wines were chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and I believe a petite syrah. They were all good, and the cabernet was elegant. I was impressed with the barbera. During interviews for my current article, I was told that barbera grapes have a high acid content in addition to a high brix, which makes the wine “easier” to make. I was also told that barberas could be “hot” (too much alcohol).
I’m intrigued to try more barberas, and not because I want to have more alcohol in my wine, but for the opposite. If the grape is naturally high alcohol, does the winemaker have issues to contend in order to draw out more of the grape’s distinct flavors?
The wine tasting manager and I spoke about his plans for distribution of the wine, and talked about some of the local wineries, restaurants, and winemakers.
The tasting room and adjoining rooms were beautiful, and because everything was so new, it was immaculate. It looks more like a home inside than a wine tasting room, and there are two rooms off the tasting room for private corporate events and weddings.
I signed up for emails and hope to try some of the other wines they will be producing in the future.