John Christopher Cellars is a family owned boutique winery located in the Livermore Valley producing around 1500 cases of heart and hand crafted wine each year. We offer both red and white wines, with our main focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Syrah. Most of Tom's current focus is on red wine, through Chardonnay is also one of his favorites. Both Chard's are from Livermore Valley grapes and are a favorite among Chardonnay lovers who value lively fruit and a rich buttery finish.
We sold our vineyards, winery and event facilities in the Livermore Valley in December, 2010. We did not sell our brand or pipeline of ultra-premium wines. We hope that you stay with us as we transition to our new tasting room and wine-crafting facility.
Although the original settler may have been Joaquin Murrieta, the bandit who favored the water at the property’s artesian well, it was a French native whom recognized the land’s potential for amazing wine quality. Louis Mel bought the 92-acre property in 1883 and built a winery into the hillside adjacent to the well. The old stone winery building is a gorgeous example of early California architecture. Local timber and rustic concrete made from gravel gathered from the nearby Arroyo Mocho Creek were used in the construction.
Tenuta Vineyards is about the experience: approaching the tasting room and walking through the door, you’ll know you’ve arrived somewhere special. A relaxed atmosphere ideal for conversation, celebration, enjoying great wines and being with great friends. Whether you’re seeking an intimate, quiet spot for two, or indulging in a group outing with friends, Tenuta’s knowledgeable and outgoing staff will serve you a wine to remember!
When Pat and Tom Heineman purchased the property in 1980, opening a winery was not in their plans. They wanted to own some land “out in the country”. They chose the location for its beauty and feeling of serenity. As educators in the Livermore they met the couple who would later become their partners in the winery, Carol and Rich Howell. Pat and Carol were fellow elementary school principals in Livermore. The two couples shared many common interests including the enjoyment of good wines.
In 1977 Sunol's grape growing tradition was revived by the planting of 55 acres of premium grape varieties on San Francisco Water Company land. In 1984 the Awtreys obtained rights to the Sunol Valley Vineyards and also replanted Elliston's own vineyard at the estate with three acres of Chardonnay. The original carriage house was converted into the winery, and Don Blackburn was hired as Elliston's first winemaker. Trained in Burgundy, Don's wines from 1985 to 1990 were classically Burgundian in style employing French Oak exclusively, barrel fermentation, "sur lie" aging, and malolactic fermentation emphasizing complexity and the unique flavors of the vineyard. Since 1992 the winery and Elliston Estates have been owned and operated by the Awtrey's daughter Donna and her three children Mark, K.J., and David.
El Sol has a range of wines, trending more towards reds than whites. Lots of interesting varietals and it seems that they are usually barrel tasting at least a pair of wines at any time.
Although Caddis is new it is quickly becoming one of my favorite wineries in Livermore. The winemaker Chris has had years if experience in the Livermore valley and it shows in his wines. It's no surprise the Caddis took home a number of Chronicle wine awards, their wines is phenomenal! Caddis is located next to Wood Family and are only open a select amount of days throughout the year.
Charles R Vineyard is one of Livermore Valley's big wine secrets - well maybe that's not true with the number of reviews I have found. Charles R is a great little find, here's why:
Great wines at decent prices: The Sauvignon Blanc that they just made is light, crisp and delicious and their cabs which are good too. Service with a smile: It doesn't matter how many people are packed into this little tasting room, they always have the nicest people helping visitors and who simply love to chat about wine. The Charles R Experience: From the sitting on their patio nibbling on food you brought while savoring a glass of their wine to tasting in their tasting room, the overall experience is so "laid-back Livermore".