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Big White House & John Evan Cellars

Sandy Sims & Tom Wilmer

Livermore Valley Winery and Tasting Room

San Francisco Wine Tours

Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours


Big White House & John Evan Cellars view from deckThe small bungalow, barrels stacked along the front, looks nothing like a big white house. Step inside to a funky, friendly tasting room with paintings hanging all over the walls. The place reflects the mix of the artistry and science of this talented, enthusiastic family.
The winery hosts two labels: Big White House (premium wines), created by John Marion in 1992 in the backyard of his white house at Sixth and South L in Livermore. Son, John Evan, started winemaking at 15. By 21, he had his own label (ultra premium wines). His 2004 Alchemist has a cult following.
Young John is so talented that he’s now head winemaker for both labels. The bottle labels—more like museum art—are created by mom, Diana, and sister, Laura.
Big White House & John Evan Cellars tasting roomTaking seriously the cliché, ‘No wine before its time,’ The Marions sometimes wait five years or longer to release especially big, high tannin reds. All wines are barrel-aged, tasted regularly to monitor their aging. The family says this level of attention to each lot and each barrel distinguishes their wines from facilities where wine is made by formulae.

Fascinating Fact:

John Marion has been collecting estate jewelry for 32 years. Some of his collection is for sale at the winery.
Amenities: Two wine clubs; barrel tasting; bottle your own; artwork by Diana and Laura Marion.
Founded: 1998 and 2004
Signature Wines: Cabernet Sauvignons, Petite Sirahs, and Zinfandels.
Wine Tasting: $5 tasting fee waived with purchase.
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12 – 4:30 and by appointment.
Big White House Winery & John Evan Cellars
6800 Greenville Road
Livermore, CA, 94550

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Sandy Sims, an award winning journalist, newspaper editor, and travel writer, also writes fiction.
Thomas C. Wilmer is an award-winning author and travel writer. His latest book; Wine Seeker's Guide to Livermore Valley is available from

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