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Deer Ridge Vineyards
Livermore Valley Winery and Tasting Room
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours
Sitting atop a ridge, this sprawling Tuscan-style tasting room/event center overlooks surrounding hills and vineyards. Visitors sip award-winning wines as they peruse art exhibits, or wander to one of the patios.
Owners Cherie and Carl Lyle have poured money and heart to into this dreamy center. Adjacent to the main building is a sumptuous, two-bedroom, two-bath guesthouse, available for brides or those wanting to stay overnight in Livermore wine country. Guests may even volunteer at the wine bar.
Bringing people into the winemaking process is a signature of this winery. Take, for example, their Moonstruck event. During a full moon in either September or October, the Lyles invite guests to harvest grapes by torchlight. Participants barrel-taste their wine throughout the aging process, eventually receiving a free bottle of the Moonstruck blend.
Carl, who left the corporate world years ago to become a winemaker, has excelled in this venture. Deer Ridge’s world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay have top awards at the Orange County Wine Competition, beating out Napa wines. Still, the Lyles keep prices down to affordable levels.
This land belonged to Clarence Wetmore, who grew grapes for his brother’s legendary Cresta Blanca Winery in the late 1800s.
Amenities: Wine club, art exhibits, newsletter, barrel tasting, weddings, corporate events, 2-bedroom guest house.