Bay Area Wineries: Take an Epic Tasting Tour in Contra Costa + Alameda Counties
Forget the long drive to crowded Napa Valley for your next wine tasting tour because we have an astounding number of award-winning vintners much closer to home. Dozens of Bay Area wineries are ripe for the picking and sipping right here in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. To visit them all would take several heady weekends filled with reds, whites, and rosés!
Some area wineries, like those in the Livermore Valley, are over a century old and sit on golden hillsides with panoramic views. Other tasting rooms are uniquely urban and located just blocks from BART and Jack London Square. As Sunset magazine noted about Oakland’s vintner scene, “California’s newest wine country leaves the ‘country’ behind.”
We all have our local favorites. Abio Properties agent Julie Sullivan adores Walnut Creek’s Shadowbrook Winery, whose motto is “Close to Home…” (our point exactly!) “…Far From Ordinary.” They’ve won nearly 70 medals in San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competitions.
Whistler Vineyards, another Berkeley fav endorsed by us Abios, is tucked in an ivy-covered bungalow on Camelia Street. Vintners Stig Hansen and Jennifer Whistler grow grapes for their Pinot Noir and Viognier near the cool Sonoma Coast and create their wines here in Berkeley. They share the cozy space with the winemakers at Lusu Cellars. Sip from two wineries in one stop!
Here’s how easy it is to taste the greatness of local grapes:
- Hop on the Livermore Wine Trolley.
- Join the Livermore Valley Wine Club, which is aligned with about 18 boutique wineries.
- Walk the Oakland Urban Wine Trail.
- Or set your own course using our extensive list of Bay Area wineries below. Cheers!
Livermore Valley Wineries
Many wineries are nestled in Livermore Valley’s rolling hills, on or near Tesla and Vasco roads. Chart your own course using our list (bring a designated driver!) or take the Livermore Wine Trolley. You also can download the Livermore Valley wineries app to your phone.
This boutique winery is owned and operated by three friends, all named… you guessed it… Steve. The tasting experience is most often described as down-to-earth and delicious. On Wine Wednesdays, taste curated flights or sangria on tap during the warmer months. 5700 Greenville Rd., Livermore
Located on 12 acres in the rolling hills of southeast Livermore, Bent Creek Winery offers a variety of handcrafted reds, whites, and ports. 5455 Greenville Rd., Livermore
These wines are considered truly handcrafted; the grapes are hand-picked by family and friends. Read about winemaker Brett Caires in this Huffington Post article. 9309 Tesla Rd., Livermore.
Open seven times a year for special events listed on their website. 7878 Cedar Mountain Rd., Livermore
Creativity defines this winery owned by Earl and Linda Ault. Taste their wine and view their art and sculptures on display. 10843 Reuss Rd., Livermore
Grapes sourced from the Livermore Valley and Tracy Hills showcase classic varietals and some lesser-known gems. 8195 Crane Ridge Rd., Livermore
The tasting room, a historic landmark, was named one of the Top 25 Most Awesome Tasting Rooms in California by IntoWine.com for its pressed tin ceilings, stone floors, and century-old cedar planks. 4590 Tesla Rd., Livermore
Their tasting room is closed for now, but their website says they hope to reopen in the fall. You can still order a case for drive-through pickup. 5625 Greenville Rd., Livermore
Cuda Ridge produces handcrafted, small lot, Bordeau-style wines from grapes grown in local vineyards. 2400 Arroyo Rd., Livermore
Sip Syrahs at Dante Robere’s spacious tasting room and outdoor patios with scenic vineyard views. 1200 Wetmore Rd., Livermore
Don’t forget to tour the art gallery here. Or reserve a guided tasting on their sundeck. Check the calendar for live music dates. 7000 Tesla Rd., Livermore
Besides offering award-winning wines, they have outstanding views of the Livermore Valley. 10017 Tesla Rd., Livermore
Their space is tucked away in a business park, but don’t let that stop you. The owners are passionate and knowledgeable about wines and pairings. Follow Ehrenberg on Facebook for upcoming events. 476 Lindbergh Ave., Livermore
The estate is gorgeous and features a neo-Romanesque mansion built in 1890 with graceful stone arches and 32-inch-thick walls of blue sandstone quarried in nearby Niles Canyon. 463 Kilkare Rd., Sunol
Off the beaten path, you’ll find this little winery that specializes in unusual varietals, including Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, and Cariganon. Open weekends at 8626 Lupin Way, Livermore.
Come for the wine, stay for the fascinating history. The Fenestra tasting room is located in a historic winery built in 1889. After several ownership changes and a long abandonment, the winery was purchased by the Replogle family, who launched Fenestra in 1976. Tastings take place on a lawn overlooking the beautiful vineyards and rolling hills. 83 Vallecitos Rd., Livermore
Make a meal at Garre’ Cafe part of your visit. Reservations recommended. 7986 Tesla Rd., Livermore
1828 Wetmore Rd., Livermore
By appointment only. 503 Leisure St., Livermore
2271 South Vasco Rd., Livermore
Since McGrail won awards for its Cabernet Reserve in 2012, the winery’s popularity has skyrocketed. 5600 Greenville Rd., Livermore.
2245 South Vasco Rd., Ste A, Livermore
2481 Buena Vista Ave., Livermore
Reservations required. 3005 Mines Rd., Livermore
Beautiful wine for beautiful brides! This is a popular spot for tasting and wedding ceremonies. 5005 Sheridan Rd., Sunol
These winemakers are dedicated to their pursuit of the perfect Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux red varieties. 2245 C South Vasco Rd., Livermore
2245 B South Vasco Rd., Livermore
2135 South Vasco Road, Unit C, Livermore
A down-to-earth winery with a motto we can get behind: “Peace through wine, one glass at a time.” 1960 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore
5143 Tesla Rd., Livermore
1356 South Livermore Ave., Livermore
The 68-acre estate sits on a hilltop with an amazing panoramic view of surrounding vineyards and mountains. They produce wines and ports. 6500 Tesla Rd., Livermore
The boutique producer won gold for its 2012 Merlot and Silver for its 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The charming tasting room is a former horse barn, or take your sips and a picnic outside on the pretty grounds. 3053 Marina Ave., Livermore.
5443 Tesla Rd., Livermore
7×7 magazine recently named Wente a must-visit destination for anyone looking for more than just a wine tasting. Dine at The Restaurant, golf the premiere course, learn about vinification in the Winemakers Studio, and enjoy the summer concert series in the winery’s amphitheater. See the summer lineup here. 5565 Tesla Rd., Livermore
Urban Bay Area Wineries – Alameda County
Housed in a space designed by the award-winning architect David Baker, Brooklyn West Winery’s “industrial-chic” tasting room is located at 200 2nd St. (corner of 2nd and Jackson) in Oakland’s Jack London Square Warehouse District.
Come for the wine, stay for the live music every first Saturday of the month. 55 4th St., Oakland.
1340 5th St., Berkeley
805 Camelia St., Berkeley
Billing itself as “the original urban winery,” Rosenblum has been making wine since 1978 and is all about the Zin. The tasting room is located just steps from the Oakland Ferry Terminal in the heart of Jack London Square.
Try the competition-worthy tempranillo. Open Thursday-Sunday in Oakland’s Jack London District at 200 2nd St.
Contra Costa County Wineries
3501 Byer Rd., Byron
Call 925.370.0723 for information on how to visit this Alhambra Valley winery in Martinez.
Get a taste at Coco’s (the Contra Costa County Wine Company) at 633 First St. in Brentwood.
An urban winery set on San Pablo Bay, Four Fools puts the fun in fine wine by hosting ongoing events like Food Truck Thursdays and monthly Sunday car shows. 13 Pacific Ave., Rodeo
6700 Balfour Rd., Brentwood
1 Meritage Ln., Walnut Creek
They are temporarily closed for tours and tastings but are open for online order pickups. 2155 Elkins Way, Suite H, Brentwood
This beautiful family-owned gem is tucked away in Martinez on a century-old vineyard and run by its 4th and 5th generations. 150 Morello Ave., Martinez
A Digestif: East Bay Winery Fun Facts
- East Bay wines go way back. Charles Wetmore’s dry white wine from his Cresta Blance vineyard in Livermore Valley won the grand prize at the 1889 Paris Exhibition.
- At least one East Bay varietal has made it into the Smithsonian. A bottle that once held sherry produced by Concannon Vineyards in 1929, at the height of Prohibition, is part of the National Museum of American History collection. Concannon worked around Prohibition by making this legal altar wine for the Catholic Church.
Are you dreaming of living in East Bay wine country? Let us help you make that dream come true! Call us at 888-400-ABIO (2246) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, let us know if we forgot to list one of your favorite Bay Area wineries.