OK, so maybe I shouldn't go so far as to say that Livermore is the wine world of the past. Their wines do have some of the attributes of less modern wines, in a good way, but the industry here is entirely up to date. Great wines, modern facilities, so why do we hear so little about Livermore? It’s a valid question and one worth asking. Simply put it was zoning. Yes zoning, which seems improbable but until recently the vast tracts of Livermore’s agricultural land could not be subdivided into lots smaller than 100 acres. What was a noble effort at preserving agricultural land and the lifestyle that accompanies it was simply not good for growing the wine business.
And Livermore was, and perhaps remains that place where dreams can come true, but not with 100 acre zoning. That is why Livermore remains obscure, though it’s less than an hour from San Francisco, produces great wines, and is a lovely place to visits. Simply put, until recently there just was not a lot to see here.
All of that is changing. Today the zoning requirements have been lowered to 20 acres, allowing many more small producers to move in and begin to take advantage of what Livermore has to offer. Vineyards in Livermore tend to be planted on a large valley floor or the gently rolling hills that frame the valley. Mechanical maintenance of the vines and harvesting of the fruit is easy and often practiced here, allowing Livermore wines to remains great values.