Stumbling over a new winery is the happiest of accidents. We recently had just such a happy accident when we discovered Omega Road Winery.
We were touring Livermore, tasting at some of our favorite wineries, when we notices a tent sign that announced “Tasting Room Open.” Always ready for a new tasting experience, we quickly (but safely) made a turn into the small commercial complex just off of Vasco Road. Immediately on the left we saw all the signage we needed: Omega Road Winery & Cellars. We found it!
We entered and were immediately welcomed by Ken, who we quickly discovered was one of the owners and winemakers. Moments later we met the other half of the Omega Road dynamic duo, Alexandra, Ken’s daughter. Ken told us that he learned the wine business at Robert Mondavi Winery, working under Michael Grgich, then following him to Chateau Montelena. After several years of home-based wine making, Ken and Alexandra took the leap, starting Omega Road Winery in 2012 and opening the tasting room in May of 2017.
We next met Ken’s wife, Nicky, who surprisingly remembered us from last year’s Taste Our Terroir. At that event, Alexandra and Nickie poured their brand-new label in the courtyard to very positive reviews. At the time we had no idea that we were tasting such a new winery. What a happy twist of fate to discover them again!
We started our tasting with their 2015 Viognier. Made from Lodi fruit, we appreciated the soft citrus and white peach notes and a finish reminiscent of lemon meringue pie. Ken shared that the success of this wine was entirely because Alexandra suggested a second filtering during production. He said that this extra step brought the fruit forward and eliminated some sharp edges that would have otherwise harmed the wine.
We next tasted their 2015 Riesling, a refreshingly dry wine with a great aroma, ready for the coming of summer. We fell in love with their 2015 Alicante Bouchet, brimming with stone fruit notes that goes on and on. We put several bottles on our take home list. Their 2015 Barbera was fruity and fun, an amazing representation of Mendocino County grapes. The 2013 Tempranillo had aromas of roses and chocolate, with soft and gentle layers of fruit. Another favorite was their 2015 Petite Verdot, made from Livermore grapes. We loved the full bodied dark fruit, with tobacco notes leading to a smoky, citrus finish. We wrapped up our tasting with their Port-style wine called Umbra. Smooth and silky, this showed some coffee and caramel notes that called out for gathering around a fire pit, toasting s’mores. This quickly joined our take home list.
With our tasting complete, we paid for our armful of wine and wished Ken, Nickie, and Alexandra all the best with their second year of operation. We look forward to frequent visits to follow the expansion of this great new winery!
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?
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