Winery name: Nottingham Cellars
Owners: Jeff and Diane Cranor
About us: Nottingham Cellars sits at the gateway to Livermore Valley's wine country. We are a small boutique winery dedicated to producing great wines at a great value. We take our name from the history pages of our historic wine region. Nottingham was, for a period of time, the original name of Livermore in the mid-19th century. It is this rich history from which we draw inspiration for everything we do at Nottingham Cellars.
My father, Jeff Cranor, and I started the winery in 2009. Our philosophy of winemaking is to work with only the finest winegrape growers in the valley. From there, we seek to do justice to the fruit by producing wines of exceptional character showcasing the best that the region has to offer. We handcraft our wines in small lots. Our dedication to careful production and attention to detail in every phase of winemaking comes through with every sip.
Our wines: By sourcing grapes from various vineyards around Livermore Valley, we are able to achieve wines with tremendous complexity. We currently offer more than a dozen wines, including Viognier, chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Bordeaux blends and several cabernet sauvignon wines.
In 2011, we received a total of 28 medals in four the nation's top wine competitions. Earlier this year, our 2009 Casa De Vinas Vineyard Designate cabernet sauvignon received a 90-point score and Cellar Selection nod from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
Best seller: Our best selling wine is the 2010 Awakening GSM Rhone Style Red Blend ($36). Its fruit and structure from carefully selected barrels provides something a little different from our normal Bordeaux focus. The wine just won a gold medal in the Best of the Bay wine competition and scored 91 points in Food and Beverage World's review. AlphaRed is our most affordable wine at $26, and the most expensive is our Vineyard Designate cabernet sauvignon at $52.
Special features: We are conveniently located and easily accessible from Highways 580, 680 and 84. Nottingham Cellars is an ideal place to enjoy a tasting flight, have a picnic lunch on our patio or enjoy a glass of wine among the barrels in our cellar. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to make sure that you have a great experience in our stylish urban winery.
Hours & tasting fee: Our tasting room is open Friday-Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. There is a $5 tasting fee.
Where is the winery? We are located at 2245C South Vasco Road, Livermore, CA 94550, www.nottinghamcellars.com.
Wine country events
Father's Day Picnic: Sunday, June 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Retzlaff Vineyards, 1356 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore CA 94550, retzlaffwinery.com. Cost is $10, reservations appreciated. Bring your own picnic. There will be a table decorating competition -- create the most sumptuous and/or most colorful table and win. Listen and dance to live music. Kids 17 and younger get in free. No outside beverages or alcohol, please.
Café Tuesday: Tuesday, June 19 from 5 p.m. 8 p.m., Tamas Estates, 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore CA 94550, www.tamasestates.com. Enjoy wine, live music, time with friends and foods inspired by some of our favorite places. Grab your family and friends, and join us for Café Tuesdays this summer. June's food feature is Southern comfort-inspired foods; $25 per person advance purchase/$30 per person the week of the event/$20 for Salute! club members. Reservations required. Call 925-456-2380.
This column was contributed by Nottingham Cellars winemaker Collin Cranor.