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Wine pairing at Taste Our Terroir

Tickets are available to the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association’s annual food and wine pairing contest that partners wineries with Bay Area chefs to compete for coveted honors.

This year, there are 17 teams preparing to wow visitors with their creativity: Big White House Winery and Sauced BBQ & Spirits, Cuda Ridge Wines and Campo di Bocce, Darcie Kent Vineyards and Monica's Livermore, Eagle Ridge Vineyards and Terra Mia, Fenestra Winery and Backyard Bayou, Garré Vineyard & Winery and Garré Café, Las Positas Vineyards and Las Positas Vineyards, Longevity Wines and PLaYT, McGrail Vineyards and Bottle Taps, Mitchell Katz Winery and Atria Senior Living, Murrieta's Well and Murrieta's Well Culinary Team, Nella Terra Cellars and On the Vine Catering, Page Mill Winery and Millennium Restaurant, Retzlaff Vineyards and Salt Craft, the Steven Kent Winery and Sabio on Main, Wente Vineyards and the Wood Fired Kitchen, and Wood Family Vineyards and First Street Alehouse.

Tickets still remain for the headliner wine and food pairing event, which will be held on the evening of Thursday, July 25, at Casa Real at Ruby Hill. However, VIP tickets sold out quickly this year. VIP guests are welcome to attend the VIP Party, beginning at 4:30 p.m., in the garden patio, where a sparkling wine reception will be hosted by Vino Destinations, Nella Terra Cellars and Page Mill Winery. Doors to the main event open at 5 p.m. for VIPs, and at 6 p.m. for other ticket holders.

Both Aloft in Dublin and Courtyard by Marriott will be offering special rates on accommodations for those attending this event.

For the last several years, Taste Our Terroir has continued to expand in scope. It’s no longer just one evening of indulgent wine and food pairing during which a new set of winners will be crowned. It’s also a chance to bid on some very fun auction items. Perusing the online site, I spied a tasting of 2016 Pinot Noir for two at Nella Terra, a vertical of Dante’s Inferno, two tickets to attend the Livermore Valley Wine Auction's 25th Anniversary Gala on September 21, a magnum and tasting for four from Fenestra, early admission for four to the Front Porch Music Festival hosted by Fifth Generation Winegrower Karl Wente, a facial and skincare products from Affinity Spa, an electric bike romp through the Livermore Valley courtesy of Pedego Electric Bike, 30 yoga classes from Dragonfly Yoga, a European River cruise, plus a case of the award-winning wines from 2019 Livermore Uncorked.

At press time, limited tickets were still available for several of the other Taste Our Terroir weekend events. Consult the Livermore Winegrowers website to purchase tickets to any of these events, which include:

Vineyard Table Garden Tour & Tasting Lunch: Friday, July 26, 10:30 a.m-1 p.m., at Wente Arroyo Road. Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk will lead a tour of the sustainable Wente garden, followed by a three-course lunch, paired with Wente Wine in the Veranda Dining Room. Wine Director Jorge Tinoco will guide you through the pairings at the newly renovated Vineyard Table. Only 24 tickets are available for this event. [$105]

Behind the Bubbles: Friday, July 26, 5-7 p.m., Page Mill Winery. Why are bubbles so special? They take a bit of extra effort to pull off. Discover the behind the scenes work that goes into the making of Page Mill’s Blanc de Blanc, as winemakers Dane and Michael walk you through the process of creating a timeless sparkling wine. Each guest will have the opportunity to learn how to saber a bottle of champagne. [$55]

PortaPalooza: Saturday, July 27, Rios-Lovell, 7-9 p.m., at Rios-Lovell Winery. Winemaker Dan Baldwin will present an educational seminar of the History of Port, and how it is made. The next step is to sample Ports out of the barrel from several Livermore Valley wineries, and pair them with several delectable cheeses and chocolates. Participating wineries include Rios-Lovell, Mitchell Katz Winery and Charles R Vineyards. [$35]

Falconry, Fly and Wine!: Sunday, July 28, 10 a.m.-noon, at el Sol Winery. Meet and greet with a California State licensed falconer, and Embodied Wines winemaker and owner Kimmie Orani Spears and her falconry birds. Watch a flight demonstration in the vineyards at el Sol Winery, while you sip on Embodied Wines' 2016 Corset Rosé of Pinot Noir and 2017 Chardonnay. There are only 30 tickets available for this event. [$40]

Pink Party Rosé Brunch: Sunday, July 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Retzlaff Vineyards. Head to Retzlaff Vineyards for a fabulous brunch provided by Chef Matt Greco of Salt Craft. Accompanying this feast will be a lineup of rosés from Embodied Wines, Fenestra Winery, Garré Vineyard, Nella Terra Cellars, Omega Road Winery & Retzlaff Vineyards. [$65]

Vertical Tasting of Livermore Valley Award Winning Wines: Sunday, July 29, 12:30-2:30 p.m., at 3 Steves Winery. It’s never been done before in Livermore, but you’re invited to experience the thrill of verticals from three Sweepstakes Award Winning Wineries: 3 Steves, Las Positas, and McGrail Vineyards. Cast your vote for your favorite vintage varietal in this fun and educational tasting at 3 Steves Winery. [$60]