Naming a winery can be challenging. Many of the “good names” are already taken. Winery names can be inspired by family names, pets, local history or local points of interest. Sometimes the answer is easier, though, like when your winery is literally located on Leisure Street.
Leisure Street Winery is one of the newest wineries in Livermore. Off the beaten wine path, it is in an industrial park near S. Vasco Road, by the freeway. And yes, it is located on Leisure Street. How great is that? We found the winery easily and entered the brand-new tasting room. We were immediately struck by the beautiful live-edge wood tasting bars. Since we were visiting on a Friday, we had the room to ourselves. The owners, Kelly and Rick Volpatti, welcomed us and set us up for a tasting flight.
As we tasted their 2014 Chardonnay, we learned a bit about how Kelly and Rick got into the wine business. It was a classic “slippery slope” story. It started out harmlessly, helping out at the 3 Steves Winery. Before long, Kelly was blending a bit of wine on her own. No big deal, she can stop whenever she wants to, right?
By 2010, their children both had drivers’ licenses, which opened up some “spare” time that Kelly filled by making some Chardonnay at 3 Steves’ facility. In 2013 she started to branch out into red wines. The idea of using multiple species of yeast intrigued her, so each wine she made was the result of no fewer than three different yeasts. Before they knew it, they were dealing with all the paperwork needed to open a winery and picking out furniture and decorations. Leisure Street Winery was born!
Next we tasted two GSM wines. Their classic 2013 GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) was well balanced, with nice fruit. Their second GSM had a splash (that’s a technical term for 1%) of Dolcetto added. We were surprised by the difference that 1% can make! We were evenly split as to our favorite. That’s a nice problem!
Their 2013 Zinfandel was our next taste. We enjoyed the balanced fruit and mild pepper on the finish. A fine representative of Livermore Zins! Our final taste was their 2010 Dessert Wine. Made in the Port style, this was a blend of Trousseau, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Souzau. We called it “YUM” and made sure that not a single drop went to waste.
Tasting complete, we purchased a bottle of their GSM and set off into the beautiful summer afternoon. All in all, a great time spent on Leisure Street!
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?