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El Sol Winery

Sandy Sims & Tom Wilmer

Livermore Valley Winery and Tasting Room

San Francisco Wine Tours

Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours


El Sol Winery sits in a bucolic setting, on an abandoned Foster Farm chicken ranch.
El Sol Winery tasting room with view of Livermore ValleyThe tasting room, however, is like an urban wine bar, with tall round tables, colorful gifts, a-picture-window view of the hills, and a patio.
“We greet people within three seconds of arriving,” Hal Liske says, “introduce ourselves by first names.”
Hal and Kathy Liske originally intended to grow a honey business here, but friends scuttled that idea when they introduced Hal to winemaking. He renovated farm buildings into a tasting room, a barrel room, and processing facility.
El Sol Winery outdoor seating and Livermore Valley settingGrowing a small amount of their own grapes, the Liskes source most from growers in Livermore Valley and from Lodi, Amador and Contra Costa Counties. They barrel-age reds four years, so they are fully matured, table ready upon release, and white wines longer than most wineries.
Hal believes the oak’s job is to push the fruit forward. “I use 95 percent, once-used French oak, and I like the fact that my red wines spend maximum time in the barrel without getting over oaky.”

Fascinating Fact:

Hal Liske worked 36 years as a firefighter for Hayward Fire Department.
Amenities: Wine club, private parties, small group tastings, barrel tasting
Founded: 2003
Signature Wines: Tempranillo (Spanish), San Giovese (Italian), Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Tasting: $5 fee for 2 flights; $10 fee for El Sol reserve.
Hours: Friday–Sunday 12–5 and by appointment.
El Sol Winery
8626 Lupin Way
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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