Can a winery founded in the 1880’s still be fresh and new? Concannon Vineyard claims the title “America’s Oldest, Ongoing Winery Under the Same Family Label and Stewardship.” That brings to mind an ivy-covered edifice full of dusty bottles and hidebound tasting rooms. Our recent visit showed us that nothing could be further from the truth.
It was an uncharacteristically rainy day in Livermore and we had time for one quick tasting. As we approached the Concannon Vineyard sign and their clever topiary animals , we realized that we hadn’t visited their tasting room in years. This was the perfect day to fix that oversight, so we turned at the shrubbery camel and found out what was new at Concannon.
|Wine Guide Daniella|
Concannon is very well equipped handle a crowd! There are spacious parking lots, lots of manicured lawns for strolling and ample outdoor seating. That’s before you even get to the tasting room! We entered the main tasting room and found miles (OK, that’s an exaggeration) of bar space and lots of open space to mix and mingle. We found a nice spot at one of the bars and met Daniella, our wine guide for the day. We scanned the tasting menu and discovered that we could sample a broad menu for $10. It was time to taste some wine!
We started with their 2014 Chardonnay, with grassy aromas and a fun hint of lemon on the palate. A great start to our flight! Next up was their 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir, which had intriguing currant and clove notes on the nose and blackberry and cherry on the tongue. The smokey finish made me wish for more of this lovely wine in my glass.
We loved the blackberry notes in their 2012 Cabernet, with an interesting plum and mushroom finish. A hit with both of us was their 2010 Reserve Syrah, with layers of dark fruit and a humidor finish. Our final taste was their 2011 Reserve Capt Joe’s Petite Sirah. This was a party in a glass, with aromas of strawberries and plums andrefined blackberry and cherry elements on the palate.
There was a timely break in the threatening weather, so we paid for our tasting, said goodbye to Daniella and set off for home. Thanks, Daniella and Concannon Vineyard for a wonderful tasting!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?