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Rios Lovell Estate Winery

Sandy Sims & Tom Wilmer

Livermore Valley Winery and Tasting Room

San Francisco Wine Tours

Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours


Entrance to Rios Lovell Estate Winery tasting room from the deliThe stone buildings on a knoll off Tesla Road grab your attention. What you don’t notice at first are fountains, gazebos, trees, lawns and charming European façades on buildings out back.
Owner Max Lovell, a former Oakland policeman, originally made his home in Livermore to be in the country, away from inmates and those he’d arrested. After receiving a head injury during a high-speed chase, Max could no longer carry a gun, so at 32 he retired to become a cabinetmaker. He bought Livermore acreage to develop housing, but the county said no.
Rios Lovell Estate Winery in Livermore ValleyWith grapes gaining popularity in the early 1990s, Max and his former wife planted a vineyard and studied viticulture and winemaking at U.C. Davis. They found early financial success doing weddings and events. Max thinks big. He wants his deli to become a restaurant, is redoing his stone house into a B&B, and has plans for a concert hall.
And his wines win big, too. “We pick grapes by hand,” he says. “Only three tons an acre; only the good ones make good wine.” Many gold medals attest to his good wines.

Rios Lovell Estate Winery tasting room and deliFascinating Fact:

A San Quentin prison guard at age 21, Max Rios served as bodyguard to Sirhan Sirhan for two weeks.
Amenities: Wine club, events center, deli
Founded: 1994
Signature Wines: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
Wine Tasting: $5 tasting fee
Hours: Wednesday – Fri 11 – 3, Weekends 11 – 5
Rios Lovell Estate Winery
6500 Tesla 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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