Tom Heineman always dreamed of owning land, and in 1981 he and his wife Pat purchased 12 acres in Livermore CA with the idea of growing grapes for local wineries. They took viticulture classes from UC Davis and planted Bent Creek Vineyard. After selling their grapes to Livermore wineries for several years, Tom and Pat decided to open a winery with their friends Rich and Carol Howell. The two couples studied enology at UC Davis and began making wine from Bent Creek grapes. Together, they opened Bent Creek Winery in 2002. Soon they were producing award-winning wine.
Bent Creek’s owners work together on every aspect of wine production from caring for the vines, to processing the grapes, to greeting guests in the tasting room. Between eight and nine of the original 12 acres are currently in production, with 6,000 vines planted. The winery produces around 3,500 cases of wine per year.
And yes, there’s a creek that winds through the property.