A Day in the Tri-Val­ley

Where San Francisco - - CONTENT - BY MARGAUX LUSHING

An itin­er­ary for ex­plor­ing the wine coun­try to the east.

Har­vest sea­son is the per­fect time to visit the Tri-Val­ley. The birth­place of many of Cal­i­for­nia’s Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon and Chardon­nay grape va­ri­eties is just 30 miles east of down­town San Fran­cisco. While an en­tire week­end could eas­ily be spent in his­toric tast­ing rooms, the Tri-Val­ley’s miles of nat­u­ral pre­serves beg to be ex­plored by foot, as does the se­lec­tion at Cal­i­for­nia’s largest out­let mall, the San Fran­cisco Pre­mium Out­lets.—BY MARGAUX LUSHING


Caf­feinate with laven­der-in­fused espresso or an Earl Gey latte at Livermore’s new Espresso Rosetta. The light and bright lo­cal fa­vorite is less than five miles from the area’s best-known winer­ies. For a throw­back break­fast, bustling Denica’s Real Food Kitchen in Livermore and Dublin serves up a wide range of morn­ing go-tos, from eggs Bene­dict to the Happy Ve­gan Bur­rito.

Head over to Livermore’s Tesla Road via the 580, the main thor­ough­fare for ex­plor­ing Livermore’s (more than 50) winer­ies. Steven Kent Win­ery is the most dec­o­rated. Afi­ciona­dos can opt for the Caber­net-focused re­serve tast­ing served in the bar­rel room. At neigh­bor­ing Not­ting­ham Cel­lars you can sam­ple pours of Ral­phi’s Red Blend and Supremacy Bordeaux blend. The tast­ing bar and out­door pic­nic area at

Ret­zlaff Vine­yards have a cozy, fam­i­lyfriendly vibe, and an en­tire af­ter­noon can be spent lux­u­ri­at­ing over wine and lo­cal cui­sine at the re­cently ren­o­vated

Muri­etta’s Well. The area’s heav­i­est hit­ter is Wente Vine­yards, owned by the same fam­ily after whom Cal­i­for­nia’s main Chardon­nay clone is named, and to which 80 per­cent of Cal­i­for­nia’s Chardon­nay can be traced.


If you’re run­ning from win­ery to win­ery, a quick lunch that won’t bog down your tast­ing sched­ule is key. Hole-in-the wall

El Charro Mex­i­can Food & Cantina is close to the area’s winer­ies. Lo­cals come for the en­chi­ladas with made-from- scratch sauce. If you’re more into mari­nara than salsa, Pleasan­ton’s Gay 90’s

Pizza draws lo­cals with its sa­loon decor and fam­ily-friendly at­mos­phere. For a sa­vory after-lunch treat, pop over to the

Vic­torine Val­ley Farms’ tast­ing room to sam­ple house­made olive oils and nab a few bath prod­ucts made from olive oil.

Walk it off by cruis­ing the sale racks of Livermore’s San Fran­cisco Pre­mium

Out­lets or trekking up Mt. Di­ablo, the high­est point in the Tri-Val­ley at nearly 4,000 feet tall. You’ll find hikes rang­ing from 3 to 7.8 miles and plenty of wa­ter­falls along the way. Or if wine tast­ing leaves you more in­clined to re­lax, Livermore’s Pur­ple Orchid Spa of­fers an es­sen­tial oil mas­sage that uses in­fused olive oils grown on­site.


After watch­ing the sun­set at Pleas

an­ton Ridge Re­gional Park, home to views of the en­tire val­ley, head into down­town Pleasan­ton for a taste of the Tri-Val­ley’s best sea­sonal din­ing. At Sabio, chef Fran­cis Ho­gan serves a stun­ning, Cal­i­for­nia-meets-Spain menu of small plates. The ex­cel­lent new whiskey pro­gram could be at home in San Fran­cisco, and the HMB English peas and favas alone are worth a visit. For a meal by the vines, head to the Restau­rant at Wente Vine­yards for cui­sine made from pro­duce grown on­site and served in a white table­cloth at­mos­phere.

Mt. Di­ablo fog at sun­rise

Steven Kent Win­ery

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