The Livermore wine scene is always growing and changing, bringing something new for wine lovers to experience at every turn. Recently we were able to welcome a new winery to Livermore on their very first weekend. Welcome Arroyo Cellars!
Just around the corner from Nottingham Cellars, Occasio Winery, Longevity Wines, Embodied Wines, and McKahn Family Cellars, past Wood Family Vineyards, past the dogleg on Research Drive, we found Arroyo Cellars. Right at the boundary between the adult beverage showcase and the light-industrial businesses, Arroyo Cellars is the newest entrant into the Livermore wine community.
We were welcomed by co-owner Joe Simas into a shiny new tasting room, full of warm woods and cool, calming wall colors. We took up our place at the live-edge wood bar and got ready to experience a new winery! Joe told us that their business started in this location as a temperature-controlled warehouse, storing finished wines for local wineries. After years in the business, they decided to get into the wine business in earnest. After more than four years working with the city to get all the necessary approvals, the winery and tasting room was finally open!
We started with their 2016 Chardonnay. A good start to our tasting, the apricot and orange zest notes made us smile. Next was their 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, with fun cherry notes leading the layers of fruit to a clean and zesty finish. A very approachable Cab, without the tannins and spice that sometimes mars this varietal. Their 2016 Merlot was a big hit with us. With surprising blueberry notes with hints of cherry and anise, we put this on our Take Home list after the first sip.
We then tasted their 2016 Dry Creek Zinfandel. We thought that the nutmeg and pepper notes would be perfect paired with chicken paprikash and spaetzle. We then compared the Dry Creek Zin with a 2015 Livermore Valley Zinfandel. It showed superb balance, with peppery aromas and gentle fruit layers leading to a fruity finish with restrained spice. A lovely sipping Zin.
With our tasting complete, we purchased a bottle of that lovely Merlot, thanked Joe for a lovely first tasting experience, and went out into the warm Livermore afternoon. The Livermore valley has yet another wonderful winery to be experienced in Arroyo Cellars!
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?