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Winery and Tasting Room on South Vasco Road in Livermore
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours
Out on South Vasco Road, in front of an industrial complex, pole flags fly, signaling Occasio winery and lovely tasting room. Down the hall, a door opens to a large facility where it all happens, from crushing grapes to bottling wine.
John Kinney, the son of a fifth generation bean farmer in Idaho, thought wine only came in jugs. When cousins from Napa showed up with an armload of finely crafted, diverse wines, he was fascinated.
As a graduate student at U.C. Davis, with the university’s wine school nearby, John’s winemaking curiosity grew. In 1974, working at Livermore National Laboratory in the Chemistry and Materials Science Department, a co-worker gave John a taste of wine from the barrel, explaining how wine changed with aging. John was hooked. He took viticulture courses, and eventually was bonded and certified in 2008. John ages all his white wines in stainless steel, and his Petite Sirah and Zinfandel in American oak.
“The new three-year-plus seasoned American oak provides wonderful aging potential,” he says. “I really like some of the spiciness, and I get more vanilla on the palate.”
Occasio has the only oval stainless steel fermenting tanks in California.
Amenities: Wine club