After nearly 20 years creating wines emblematic of the Livermore Valley, Eagle Ridge Vineyard will be closing.
In 2007 Jim and Cheryl Perry opened Eagle Ridge Vineyard and quickly established a reputation for outstanding small lot wines made from estate and locally-sourced grapes. We quickly discovered their amazing wines and made Eagle Ridge our very first wine club. Their Pinot Grigio and Zinfandel in particular became our standards for Livermore excellence. Beyond the wine, we loved the amazing views from atop the ridge, the unique ambiance of their winery and the fun and informative interactions with the Perrys and their staff. The wine club release parties were always a treat, with new releases to enjoy and food pairings that showcased local chefs and caterers.
Jim Perry was almost always behind the bar, pouring his wines and sharing his story. Over time, we learned a bit about his career arc, which started as a grocer right out of school, then to U.S. Marine, then back to being a grocer, next a police officer, and finally a real estate broker/appraiser and winemaker. A wide range of professions with one key thing in common: taking care of other people. Jim seemed to be his happiest when introducing new visitors to his extensive and nuanced tasting flights. In all the times we visited Eagle Ridge (and trust me, we visited a lot) Jim was missing from the the tasting room fewer than 5 times. When we wanted to introduce friends to Livermore wines, Eagle Ridge was always on the tour because we knew that the experience was going to be great.
Jim Perry quickly became a pillar of the Livermore wine community. He is the kind of guy who knows everybody, knows what’s new in the local wine business before anyone else, and was ready to help anyone who was interested in joining the winemaking community. One great example of that was his willingness to help fledgling winery Dante Robere get started by allowing them to pour in his tasting room. Yes, he allowed what others would consider a competitor to use his facility and his customer base to help them get started. Dante Robere’s co-founder Dan Rosenberg told me:
“We probably would not have gotten in the wine business without Jim Perry. I was pouring for him on weekends and when Bob and I were ready to start our own winery and purchase some land I mentioned that to Jim and amazingly he had just listed the property we ended up buying. The rest is history.”
Eagle Ridge is open the remaining weekends of March, 2022 and is offering some amazing case discounts. After that, Jim and Cheryl Perry will focus on their true passion: cheering on their granddaughters in their collegiate sporting endeavors.
Cheers to the Perrys and Eagle Ridge Vineyard. It has been great!
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?