Up and Coming Wineries of the Livermore Valley, including Bent Creek and Mitchell Katz

To say that recognition of the Livermore Wine Valley is growing is, perhaps, obvious, as out-of-town visitors and Bay Area residents alike flock to its wineries and restaurants.

Another solid indicator of the valley’s winegrowing prowess, however, are three up-and-coming wineries. While their names aren’t as well recognized as Gallo, they are quietly garnering professional medals from their peers as well as louder praise from the average oenophile.

Mitchell Katz Winery was started in 1998 by Mitchell Katz and his wife, Alicia. As a youth, Mitch Katz learned to make wine from his grandfather, and after years of amateur competition, Katz opened his own winery.

That long apprenticeship has paid off for the winery. The vineyards’ high quality products are evident in the medals it garners, such as a Gold Medal in the 2002 San Francisco Bay Wine Competition for the Katz Family Cabernet Port. Equally telling is the winery’s busy schedule, with tastings, special holiday events, and activities for the whole family. The winery moved to its current location at the venerated and restored Ruby Hill winery site about two years ago.

Bent Creek Winery got its name from the quietly meandering creek that runs through the winery, giving the operation both its name and a sense of country tranquility that is otherwise hard to find.

Offerings from the winery are equally welcoming, and not easily topped. Those include the 2000 Livermore Valley Syrah, Petite Sirah, Central Coast Chardonnay, and a Livermore Valley Zinfandel Port.

The newest addition to the Livermore wine making family is Tenuta Vineyards. Founded by Ron and Nancy Tenuta, the winery’s tasting room was completed about two years ago. The winery recalls the Tuscan villas of Italy, giving added atmosphere while visitors taste the winery’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel wines.

To visit or contact the wineries:

� Mitchell Katz Winery at Ruby Hill is located at 1188 Vineyard Avenue in Pleasanton. Contact the winery at 931-0744, or visit their web site, www.mitchellkatzwinery.com.

� Bent Creek Winery is located on Greenville Road south of Tesla, across from the Poppy Ridge Golf Course, in Livermore. Contact the winery at 455-6320, or visit their web site, www.bentcreekwinery.com.

� Tenuta Vineyards is located at 633 Kalthoff Commons in Livermore. Contact the winery at 371-6057, or visit their web site, located at www.tenutavineyards.com.

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