Benchmark Wineries

Aver Family Vineyards 

Making very good Rhône variety wines, particularly Petite Sirah, from their 8.25 acre (3 ha), estate vineyard in Uvas Valley, just north of the Hecker Pass area. Viticulture is “holistic,” focused on soil health and sustainability.

Cline Family Cellars 

For many years, Cline has been located in Sonoma County. However, the winery started out in Oakley, in eastern Contra Costa, and still makes wines from its vineyards with vines more than 100-years-old. Cline also makes wines from other historic Oakley vineyards.

Clos de la Tech 

This Pinot Noir specialist has large, high-altitude vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. But, the “home vineyard” is Santa Cruz Mountains adjacent. It’s located at the owners’ home in Woodside, at an elevation of 400 feet (122 m).

Sarah’s Vineyard 

A very good producer in the Hecker Pass area, aka “Mt. Madonna District.” The climate supports Chardonnay and Pinot Noir very well, but also Rhône varieties.

Steven Kent 

Steven Kent Mirassou may claim the longest family involvement in Alameda County wine today. One of his forebears worked a vineyard in the Mission San Jose area in the 1850s. Today, Steven’s winery is the leader in high-end Cabernet Sauvignon from the Livermore Valley.

Wente Vineyards

This stalwart proponent of the Livermore Valley AVA, founded in 1883, is the United States’ oldest, continuously operated, family winery.