Between the Vines is a biweekly column on wine and winemaking in the Livermore Valley region. This column was contributed by Salome Garau-Taylor, general manager of Retzlaff Vineyards & Estate Winery.

Winery name: Retzlaff Vineyards & Estate Winery

Owner: Dr. Robert Taylor

About us: Retzlaff Vineyards and Estate Winery is family-owned and operated on 14 acres in the historic Livermore Valley. We produce a variety of fine wines made from organically certified grapes.

Creating an intimate wine tasting experience for our customers and visitors is our goal. We hope to help encourage wine lovers from around the globe to visit the Livermore Valley by offering a delicious and informative experience in our charming tasting room.

The picnic grounds adjacent to the tasting room are surrounded by majestic, 100-year-old California pepper trees. The setting is absolutely lovely and private -- a beautiful venue for weddings and special gatherings.

Our wines: Retzlaff was one of only five wineries in the Livermore Valley when it opened its tasting room doors in 1985. A few years later, founder Gloria Retzlaff Taylor decided to begin selling futures on her wine, becoming the first of the valley's wineries to do so. Since that time, the Futures Club has grown to include members from around the country.


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Our winemaker and owner, Dr. Robert Taylor, works with his sons, Aaron and Noah, to produce cabernet sauvignon, merlot, our famous cabernet/merlot blend, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and port. Our newest wine is a rose that Dr. Taylor named Isabelle's Blush after his granddaughter. We also offer of variety of food products, such as Olivina Olive Oils, Salute Sante' Grape Seed Oils, Bistro Blends dressings and dipping oils and more.

Our cabernet/merlot blend ($39) is probably our signature wine. Since our 1989 cabernet sauvignon won the California State Fair Double Gold, all of our reds have been in demand.

Retzlaff's most affordable wine is our delicate and delicious rose, Isabelle's Blush, priced at $16. Our most precious wine, the 2006 family reserve cabernet sauvignon, is also the most costly at $52 per bottle. We like to encourage those who purchase this wine to drink it only with those they love.

Hours and tasting fee: Our tasting fees are $5 per selected wine flight, $10 for group tasting, which includes a combination of flights, bread and dipping oils, and $20 for our premium tasting, which includes light appetizers. Group tastings and the premium tasting require advanced reservations.

Retzlaff's hours are Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 2 p.m.; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. We are closed on Mondays but are open by appointment.

Location: We are at 1356 S. Livermore Ave., Livermore.

Details: www.retzlaffwinery.com

wine country events

  • Riedel Wine Glass Presentation & Tasting -- Join us to taste McGrail's premium wines and learn about the importance of your wine glass. Take home your set of four Vinum XL wine glasses after the presentation. Sylvie Laly, of Riedel, will taste with you and teach you just how different your wine tastes in the "right" glass choice. A cheese and cracker reception will follow. Event is 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 20 at McGrail Vineyards & Winery, 5600 Greenville Road, Livermore. www.mcgrailvineyards.com. Cost is $75.

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