Between the Vines is a biweekly column on wine and wine making in the Livermore Valley region. This column was contributed by Cheryl Perry, co-owner of Eagle Ridge Vineyard
Winery name: Eagle Ridge Vineyard
Owners: Jim and Cheryl Perry
About us: In 2001, my husband Jim and I purchased a three-acre site to have country space to garden and leave the neighborhood confines behind. Two acres of weeds became an immediate problem that a "friend" suggested we solve by planting grapevines. So, out went the horse corrals and in came two acres of our favorite varietal, Petite Sirah.
Eagle Ridge Vineyard was born soon after, named after the eagles that had returned to the Livermore Valley in 1996. Our initial plan was to grow enough grapes to add a little income to the family pot or make a bit of wine for friends. Hand tended, sometimes by flashlight, this small vineyard flourished beyond our dreams. Our first harvest in 2004 was over three tons. We just didn't have that much family or that many friends, so we jumped into the wine business with both feet!
We soon decided to expand the vineyard and are now located on a 10-acre site in the low foothills off Tesla Road. Our large (3,000 square feet) barrel storage area also serves as the tasting room -- a nice, cool spot to be during the summer. Eagle Ridge is a great place for small events such as retirement parties, anniversaries and birthday parties.
Our wines: It is our goal to present award-winning wines from Livermore Valley that demonstrate the most from each varietal. We typically make Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and cabernet sauvignon. We also have two dessert wines named after our granddaughters: a port (MadLyn) and an angelica (MadCait). Depending on the olive harvest, we often have our own olive oil.
Our Petite Sirah ($29) is our best-selling wine. Its full-bodied aroma and taste are redolent with berry and plum flavors with an overlay of pepper. It is a perfect match for any hearty meal, especially a prime rib or pepper steak. The Pinot Grigio ($21) is a close second and offers the fragrant melon and citrus flavors that combine perfectly with your chicken, salad or just to drink on a warm summer day.
Hours and tasting fee: Eagle Ridge offers complimentary wine tasting from 12—4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and also by appointment.
Where is the winery?: We are located at 10017 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 94550 and can be found online at www.eagleridgevineyard.com
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