The Livermore Valley Wine Country's annual Labor Day weekend Harvest Celebration is back for its 29th year. From noon to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday, Sept. 5 and 6, sample the wine, food, art and music that the more than 30 wineries are offering.
The popular event, put on by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association as a fundraiser, has a few changes this year. Wine tasting will be done solely at the wineries, with "green" bus transportation available on Sunday. The complimentary transportation will transfer between three routes, each serving eight to 10 wineries.
In addition to the 30 wineries pouring at their own locations, 11 more will be pouring and hosting festivities on Tesla Road: Hidden Creek, Lavish Laines, Page Mill Winery and Rodrigue Molyneux will be at Concannon Vineyard; and El Sol Winery, Elliston Vineyards, Les Chenes Estate Vineyards, Little Valley Winery, Murrieta's Well, Nottingham Cellars and Occasio Winery will be at Wente Vineyards.
Another new feature this year is Monday-only activities offered at some wineries. These include:
* Wente Vineyards, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.: Winery tour by Karl Wente, fifth generation winemaker, space is limited and sign-up are in the Wente tasting room on Telsa Road;
* Thomas Coyne Winery: Contra Costa Home Winemakers will discuss and demonstrate home winemaking;
* Steven Kent Winery & La Rochelle Winery: Meet winemakers Steven Kent Mirassou and Tom Stutz, plus wine and cheese pairing in the barrel room for $5;
* McGrail Vineyards & Winery: The Art of Music and Wine: meet winemaker, Mark Clarin and hear his band the Bacchus Brothers;
* Fenestra Winery: Anatomy of the Grape: discussion and evaluation of different wine grapes;
* Garre Vineyard & Winery, 2 p.m.: Cooking demonstration by Cafe Garre Executive Chef Ty Turner;
* Cuda Ridge Wines: Blend Bordeaux-style varietals with winemaker Larry Dino.
* Deer Ridge Vineyards: Meet Master Gardener Sharon Wentz, who can answer gardening questions, and pick your own lavender;
* Eckert Estate Winery: Bottle your own Harvest Cuvee: bottles, labels and corks provided, for $7 per bottle;
* Chouinard Vineyards: Learn about home wine and beer making equipment from Brewmaster in San Leandro and sample wine and food pairings;
* Crooked Vine Winery: Meet winemaker Jaime Dowell for a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery.
* Big White House & John Evan Cellars: Discover the aromas of different wine varietals at the Aroma Bar, and meet a new furry friend to adopt.
* Charles R Vineyards: Take part in the Count the Corks Game, with the closest winner receiving a Charles R T-shirt.
Two-day passes are $55 in advance or $65 at the event, a Sunday-only ticket is $45 in advance or $50 at the event, and a Monday-only ticket is $40 in advance or $45 at the event. Tickets for non-drinkers are $10 and are valid for both days. Tickets include a commemorative Livermore Valley wine glass, tastings at least two wine varietals from each participating winery, an event program and exclusive discounts on wine purchases.
To purchase tickets, visit www.lvwine.org, or purchase from The Wine Steward in downtown Pleasanton, First Street Wine Company in downtown Livermore and Bay Area Safeway stores.
Only ticket holders with wristbands will be allowed at the participating wineries. No outside food is permitted and organizers say the event is not intended for children.
Participating wineries include: Bent Creek Winery, Big White House & John Evan Cellars, Bodegas Aguirre Winery, Cedar Mountain Winery, Charles R Vineyards, Chouinard Vineyards, Concannon Vineyard, Crooked Vine Winery,
Cuda Ridge Wines, Darcie Kent Vineyards, Deer Ridge Vineyards, Eagle Ridge Vineyard, Eckert Estate Winery, Fenestra Winery, Garre' Vineyard & Winery, La Rochelle Winery, Las Positas Vineyards, Longevity Wines, McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Mitchell Katz Winery, Ruby Hill Winery, Ryhan Estate Vineyards, Stony Ridge Winery, Tamas Estates, The Singing Winemaker, The Steven Kent Winery, Thomas Coyne Winery, Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room, White Crane Winery and Wood Family Vineyards.