Travel: September 2008 Archives

Livermore: More to Love

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RollingGrapeVines.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

To many drivers traversing the gusty Altamont Pass east of San Francisco Bay, Livermore Valley is little more than the vast open space they drive though before reaching the sea of windmills atop Altamont, one of the world's most important - and hard to miss - wind energy generation sites.

But folks familiar with California wine lore know that Livermore's undulating grasslands harbor not only some of the state's oldest documented grape vines but also a vibrant vinous past that dates to the mid Eighteenth Century. Savvy wine tourists also know that the valley affords a low-key alternative to the state's more popular wine regions, a place where limousines are scarce, but increasingly good wine and hospitality are anything but.

TGI Charbay

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CharbayVodkaFamily.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Ah, Napa. If you look hard enough, you can find just about everything you want in this serene stretch of Northern California countryside. Including spirits.

That's right - in the heart of Napa Valley you'll find Charbay distillery and its associate stable of spirits, liqueurs and wines - a novel fact given that more than 300 wineries dot the landscape around Napa, yet Charbay is the only distillery to call the valley home.

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