The third Sunday of June is dedicated to celebrating Dads. Livermore Valley has an abundance of activities and gifts perfect to make any dad’s day a perfect day. So whether you want to treat your father to presents via UPS, a day full of your presence, or something in between, here are a few ideas.
Many local wineries will ship a bottle of your favorite vintage, or his, to your dear old dad. Rubino, Les Chenes Estate Vineyards, Boa Ventura de Caires Winery, Wente Vineyards, Darcie Kent Vineyards and Ruby Hill Winery are just a few. If your father’s palate is more continental, South American, Down Underish, or some such, google “K&LWine Merchants”, where you will be sure to find a suitable choice. (Thanks again, Brian & Julie!)
If your celebration will contain people of all ages, from small to tall, bocce ball may be a fun choice. Campo Di Bocce reigns supreme in local bocce ball, having indoor and outdoor courts. Food is delicious, ranging from tasty snacks to gourmet meals, and local wines are featured. Garre Vineyard and Winery has bocce ball courts and offers lunch daily. Remember to make reservations ahead of time for either of the above. Rubino has one bocce ball court and picnic tables with umbrellas. Boa Ventura de Caires Winery has a bocce court, large lawns for picnicking, and is children and pet-friendly.
Picnics are always fun. Have you ever met a father that did not enjoy food with his family? Tenuta Vineyards, Bent Creek Winery, Boa Ventura, Fenestra Winery, Retzlaff Vineyards, McGrail Vineyards, Rodrigue Molyneaux Estate Winery & Vineyard, and Wente Vineyards Tasting Room on Tesla Road all have spaces roomy enough for the whole family to gather. Westover Vineyards in Castro Valley is a cool picnic choice, even featuring a waterfall. Buy a couple of bottles of wine and enjoy the vineyard views! Many of the above wineries have special Father’s Day picnic events. Check it out at lvwine.org. Daddy-O may even want to taste at another winery or two after lunch. While you are scoping out picnic areas and planning a menu, consider that many of the wineries sell locally made honey, olive oil,and mustards–a good way to zip up deviled eggs or pretzel dips (honey mustard dip on whole wheat honey pretzels, yummm).
Almost all of our Livermore Valley wineries have wine-associated (or not) gifts in their tasting rooms, like the condiments mentioned above. Murrieta’s Well, Eagle Ridge Vineyard, Ruby Hill Winery, Rubino, Big White House Winery, el Sol Winery, Tenuta Vineyards, Les Chenes Estate Vineyards, Page Mill Winery, The Singing Winemaker, Eckert Estate Winery, and Wente Vineyards Tasting Room on Tesla all offer fun shopping opportunities for a unique gift that is sure to be appreciated. And, best of all, you can sip wine as you scope out the merchandise.
If your Pops has open wall space and appreciates fine art, Cuda Ridge Wines, Darcie Kent Vineyards, and John Evan Cellars are worth a look-see. Each of these locations feels like a gallery. And, once again, you get to sip as you shop and admire.
Tickets or coupons for future entertainment are a great gift for fathers. Wente Vineyards has world class entertainment coming to town this summer. Whether Dad is a fan of crooner Tony Bennett or nostalgic for The Beach Boys or eager for something different, check Wente Vineyards for ticket availability. Gift certificates for Vine Theater is another winner, especially if your Papa likes a beer, a glass of wine, or fries and a burger while he views. Opera comes to the vineyards during the summer, as well as live music combos and soloists. Taste Our Terroir, a number of food and wine pairing events, comes to the vineyards in July; info and tickets are available now at lvwine.org.
Sunday brunch is an excellent way to jumpstart Father’s Day. Porter’s Restaurant at Poppy Ridge Golf course offers expansive golf course and vineyard views as you munch. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards features sustainably and organically grown ingredients in an elegant atmosphere. Become wine club members and receive a glass of champagne with your brunch, on the house. Papa Eddy’s in Pleasanton serves a variety of brunch specialties.
If making food rather than reservations is your forte, show up at your Dad’s place with the fixings for ham and hash browns, fruit salad, and mimosas (well, that’s more for the females attending),the ManMosa (16 oz Hefeweizen, 4 oz OJ, 1.5 oz vodka, & an orange slice), and bloody marys. Whatever your choice, throw a poached egg on top of the plate and a shot of vodka back before you mix the drinks.
If you are a crafter or want further gift ideas, check out the winetastingbliss pinterest pages. There are tons of items to make from corks, bottles, and casks, as well as gift ideas for purchase (hopefully the links still work; I do test them but apologize if you find one that leads nowhere).
Most of all, remember to tell your dad or dad-stand-in why he is important in your life and give him a hug if he’s the hugging type. Whether he is your bio-dad, adopted dad, stepdad, just dad, you are celebrating him, so I know he must have left an imprint on your heart. To my dad in heaven, I send abundant love and many thanks for his sunny outlook and on-target sense of humor — I was blessed with a gem! To you, I send a wish for sunny skies and many laughs with your loved ones this Father’s Day.
About the Author: Judi never does anything short, be it children (even at 5' 10", all 3 kids outgrew her), a voicemail message, a menu for family & friends, a day of visiting wineries, or a wine pour. Especially the latter; wine glasses are large for a reason! Her daughter-in-laws and their friends have a measure called The Judi-Pour. That means we have blessedly good relationships, 'cuz her name could be attached to worse. Sparkling wines are my go-to, but there is always a time for a peppery Pinot Noir or a crisp Pinot Grigio. Or a chill Sauvignon Blanc poolside or a toasty Cab in hand while playing bocce or a frizzante after work or.....