The mid-1980’s, found us to be avid wine enthusiasts exploring the fine wines of California. Through no active plan we turned a 25+ year hobby of collecting wine into one of opening our own winery - happenstance, what can we say!
In 2001, we purchased a 3 acre site on South Livermore Avenue to have country space to garden and leave the neighborhood confines behind. Two acres of weeds became an immediate problem, that a "friend" suggested we solve by planting grapevines. So out went the horse corrals & in came 2 acres of our favorite varietal, Petite Sirah with a vague plan of becoming a small lot provider. Thus "Eagle Ridge Vineyard" was "born", named after the Eagles that had returned to the Livermore Valley in 1996.
The plan stared out as growing enough grapes to add a little income to the family pot or if need be we could make a little wine for friends & business. . Hand tended, sometimes by flashlight, this small vineyard flourished beyond our dreams. Our first harvest in 2004 was over 3 tons. We just didn't have that much family or that many friends, so we jumped into the wine business with both feet! UC Davis & Las Positas found us consistently on their wine-making rosters.
Soon like all good things, being so small was not enough and in 2004, we relocated to expand the vineyard. We are now located on a 10 acre site in the low foothills off Tesla Road by about a half mile, often know as our DisneyLand “E Ticket” ride. This expansion has allowed us to include not only our signature Petite Sirah but also Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Grigio. Our port “MadLyn” comes from the Carter Vineyard here in Livermore. Up until 2010 we have purchased grapes from local vineyards to produce our wine. We are now harvesting our own Zinfadel & Petite Sirah blocks while supplementing the Cabernet Sauvignon. So, as of 2010 most of our vintages will be "Estate Grown".
In 2007, we opened our tasting room and debated about the décor. We finally realized it needed to reflect us & our passions and not the current “trends”. Within the plain gold agriculture building is a laid back, casual setting, filled it with antiques and collectibles we’ve found through the years. There is something for everyone to look at and reminisce over. If you didn’t have one, maybe your parent or grandparent did.
We pride ourselves in being very family oriented and have several areas appropriate for our younger guests. On any weekend you will find at least one of the owners, plus children, ‘in-laws’ or granddaughters helping out in the tasting room. The grand-daughters have even contributed parts of their own names to our wonderful port “MadLyn”and the soon to be released “MadCait”. They are actually quite adept at hitting up visitors to contribute to their favorite animal rescue cause, donating more than $350 by selling lavender items in 2011.
We specialize in using only Livermore grown grapes to showcase what great fruit and wine can be crafted here in the Livermore Valley and since 2011 our most of our wines are "Estate Grown". If you come to the Livermore Valley to taste Livermore wines, then it should be Livermore fruit. We remain committed to our primary goal of creating small lots of exceptional Livermore wines.
What seemed to be a hobby in the 1980’s and only a passing thought in 2001 is now a reality. It is thrilling to see what has grown from that hobby of wine-collecting!