The Livermore Valley is set to mark the 50th anniversary of Petite Sirah with a valley-wide festival commemorating one of the heritage grapes of Livermore. In 1961, Jim Concannon, third generation vintner, was the first to varietally bottle the grape, which previously had been relegated to blending. Petite Sirah has recently enjoyed a significant resurgence in popularity, and is now as inextricably linked with Livermore as it is with the Concannon brand itself.
As a prelude to the big 50th anniversary party at Concannon Vineyard set for August 14 & 15, the last weekend of July, July 30 and 31, will honor not only the Concannon family’s contributions to the propagation of this little “comeback kid” grape, but also the efforts of the many other wineries around the Livermore Valley who produce it.
Petite Sirah on the Rails
An Historic Train Journey Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Petite Sirah
Saturday, July 30, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Train leaves Niles Station
Ticket price: $45
Featuring a history of the railway, a retrospective on Petite Sirah by fourth generation vintner, John Concannon, and a tasting of Petite Sirahs from these Livermore Valley producers paired with hors d’oeuvres:
Concannon – special guest, winemaker John Concannon
Nottingham – special guest, winemaker Collin Cranor
McGrail – special guest, winemaker Mark Clarin
Tickets are available by visiting www.ncry.org and www.localwineevents.com. “Petite Sirah on the Rails” is sponsored by the Pacific Locomotive Association. Proceeds support railroad historic preservation programs.
Petite Sirah Under the Stars
A Gala Dinner in Celebration of Livermore’s Shining Star – Petite Sirah!
Saturday July 30, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
A Petite Sirah wine tasting and dinner featuring Livermore Petite Sirahs, past and present and a special appearance by honored guest, Jim Concannon, who first bottled Petite Sirah as a varietal 50 years ago. Sample past and present vintages of Petite Sirah while enjoying paired appetizers, live music, buffet and a panoply of Petite Sirah. Limited to the first 150 guests.
Location: McGrail Vineyards – outdoors, overlooking the beautiful Livermore Valley
Wine tasting: 6:30-7:30pm, a grand Petite Sirah tasting, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres, featuring these wineries: Bent Creek, Concannon, Charles R, Eagle Ridge, Fenestra, Garre, Little Valley, McGrail, Mitchell Katz, Nottingham Cellars, Occasio, Page Mill, Ruby Hill, Thomas Coyne and Wente.
Buffet dinner and desserts: 7:30-10:00 p.m.
Ticket price: $75 per person. Proceeds will be donated to Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association. Tickets for “A Celebration of Livermore’s Shining Star: Petite Sirah!” are available at www.mcgrailvineyards.com/events.html. In observance of the 50th anniversary of Petite Sirah, many Livermore Valley wineries will feature special pricing on their Petite Sirah during that weekend.
For more information, contact Laura Ness at 408-489-3441.