Livermore winery expanding to meet demand

LIVERMORE — Hoping to take a big leap in production,  McGrail Vineyards and Winery is planting a new, 10-acre vineyard.

The estate winery started with one wine, a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

In 2012, its Cabernet Reserve won the top honors in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and completely changed the winery’s business, according to owner Heather McGrail.

“Our Cabernets were sold out within months and we had no wine to sell. This was the start of thinking about growing our small family business,” she said.

In 2015, the winery purchased the Aguirre property, which has 10 acres of vines planted and an open 20 acres, McGrail said.

The latest addition will be planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc vines, McGrail said.

“As our family has grown and we have dug our roots into the wine business in the Livermore Valley, we have decided that our goal is to be a 8-10,000 case winery,” she said, adding that once the new vineyard is producing fruit, the winery will be able to make about 8,700 cases in a “normal” vintage.  This is a 64 percent increase from previous vintages.

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