As springtime returned to the Livermore valley, we set off on our annual mission to learn all about the area’s latest wines. First on our tour: Omega Road Winery.
We arrived at Omega Road Winery to find that a lot had changed since our last visit! Granted, it had been the better part of a year since we were last there. Covid lock-downs can be a real drag on wine tasting. The indoor wine tasting area has been remodeled to better handle their growing fan base, with a bright and airy feeling throughout. We chose to sit outside to enjoy the wonderful spring weather while sipping on some new releases. The fun tables in the outdoor area are made from wine barrels with broad, round table tops and umbrellas securely attached to the barrel to provide some respite from the Livermore sun. Just perfect for our group of four wine lovers!
The entire tasting area was abuzz with happy tasters discovering the new releases. Omega Road is a family affair, and the whole family was working hard to make sure that everyone was having a good time. Alexandra (daughter) was talking with visitors about the new wines and collecting tasting flight orders (and charcuterie plates, woo hoo!) while Ken (dad) was pouring flights to order and delivering to tables and Nicky (mom) was readying vacated tables for new guests. Whew! All that activity, just for us wine lovers! I guess that is why all of us keep coming back. The new floor plan made the flow much betters, but soon the Henkelmans will need roller skates just to keep up.
After some serious consideration, we decided to divide the tasting flights among the four of us to make sure that nothing got overlooked. But how to divide two flights among four tasters? Why, be open to new experiences and let Alexandra craft a custom flight for some of us, of course! This strategy even has a place on the wine flight menu, named “Adventurous Spirit.” Some of the wines we recognized from previous vintages and some were new to us. We also decided to try their charcuterie plate, which turned out to be a great decision. What could be better than snacking on some lovely cured meats and cheeses while sipping on equally lovely wine? One plate was more than enough for the four of us.
A number of the wines really made an impression on us! The 2021 Sangiovese Rosé on the “Bright New Day” flight was a big hit right away, with great floral aromas and citrus notes that danced on the tongue. This was a “one for tonight, one for later, and one to save for a special occasion” kind of wine, so it immediately dominated the Take Home list. The “Open Up My Heart” flight featured a 2018 Barbera, with complex layers of fruit and a fun finish of white pepper. This, too, jumped on our Take Home list, albeit at a lesser bottle count. The “Adventurous Spirit” flight (custom crafted by Alexandra based on our stated preferences) also made friends with their 2021 Oaked Carignan, smooth and silky mouth feel and a finish that never seemed to end. This slide onto the Take Home list, right between the Rosé and the Barbera on the bottle count scoreboard.
Fully up to speed on the Omega Road new releases, we collected our bags of bottles, thanked the Henkelmans and set off to try to fit in one more 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?