Tri-Valley, CA was an interesting side-trip for us, May 1-2.
Made up of 5 cities, San Ramon, Danville, Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton, it is located some 35 miles east of San Francisco, 18 miles SE of Oakland, and 35 miles NE of Silicon Valley. Yet is has all of the amenities of a first class arena. For one, there’s golf; both 9 and 18 hole. There is so much to see; the Bridges in San Ramon, the The Callippee in Pleasanton, Sunol Valley in nearby Sunol, and Wente Vineyards, Springtown, Pas Positas, and the beautiful Poppy Ridge in Livermore are all in this area. Wine lovers: Livormore is all bout wine. We counted 42 wine establishments within a stone’s throw. The largest of these were Canconnan, America’s first Irish vintner and first producer of Petit Sirah, Bordeaux and Rhone wines and Wente, owned since 1883. It is the country’s oldest continuously operated family owned winery. On a side note, fine fare is served at a number of the wineries daily. Wente was no exception. A nicely laid-out terrace restaurant with a wood burning fire awaited us. On a Tuesday afternoon my wife and I enjoyed a lunch of earthy crusted bread over locally produced olive oil and and an olives spread, a tureen of pea soup, and pasta milanese, along with a glass of their own Cabernet Sauvignon. As many of the wineries in this region are adjacent to each other, competition no doubt flares up, to the advantage of the visitor. This gave us a chance to sample some of the best varietals being offered during our stay.
Tri-Valley has a rich history, too. Think early Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin’s “The Champion” and “Little Tramp” were filmed here. Also Abbott &, Costello’s “It Ain’t Hay” and ” Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.” And a former WWII Naval Station in Livermore became the official base to the Livermore National Laboratory. In the early part of the 20th century Dublin became the official site to Campus parks, the largest inland naval base in North America. Other popular sites include the Blackhawk Museum and the Eugene O’ Neill House in Danville, the Carnegie Building in Livermore, the Alviso Adobe in Pleasanton, the Camp Parks History Center in Dublin, the Niles Canyon Railway in Sunol, and the Forest Home Farms in San Ramon.
There’s plenty of fine fare to go around. Our favorites were Nonni’s Bistro in Pleasanton, where sandwich is king and the Peasant & The Pear in Danville, where desserts reign supreme. Rodney Worth is the chef-owner who likes to experiment with artisanal cuisine with every meal. He also runs Peasants Courtyard, Prickly Pear Cantina, and Little Pear. He a variety of delicious things with fresh fruit.
Tri-Valley is an experience. There are enough art galleries and fun-stores to shop ’til you drop. The commute is also convenient, the BART can get you there in less than one-hour from San Francisco.
For more info on Tri-Valley contact: www.trivalleycvb.com.