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McGrail Vineyards and Winery

Sandy Sims & Tom Wilmer

Winery and Tasting Room with Livermore Valley views

San Francisco Wine Tours

Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours


McGrail Vineyards and Winery tasting roomThis mom and pop and daughter-run winery sits on Crane Ridge bluff, offering up sweeping vistas of the Livermore Valley and of the winery’s 16-acres of vineyards.
Looking like a chapel—with a Tuscan fountain, a sprawling lawn and bocce courts—the McGrail’s tasting room and patio is a lovely spot for a picnic, a party, a wedding.
This Irish family prides itself on taking the “snobbiness” out of wine tasting. Yet they produce some of California’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Daughter, Heather, credits her mom, Ginger, with “keenest taste and scent for outstanding wine.”
Livermore Valley view from McGrail Vineyards and WineryJim McGrail says the three and a half tons of fruit per acre they harvest from their vines are the finest. “It makes you cry to walk through the fields and [leave behind] all the dropped fruit…but it’s all about quality, not quantity,” says McGrail.
They use a combination of French, Hungarian and American oak barrels in which to age their wines, which run between 14 and 15 percent alcohol. “Heck,” Jim says, “we’re Irish.”

Fascinating Fact:

The 1946 Mac truck parked at the entrance belongs to Jim McGrail.
Amenities: Wine club, weddings, Lobster Feed, barrel tasting, St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Founded: 1999 planted first vines (Winery opens 2005; tasting room in 2008)
Signature Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Tasting: Friday – Sunday 12 – 4:30 and by appointment
McGrail Vineyards and Winery
5600 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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