Bent Creek Winery

Barrel Tasting Weekend!

Join Bent Creek and more than 30 Livermore Valley wineries at this fun-filled annual event! Meet our winemakers, experience blending, and sample wines still in development fresh from the barrel!

Keep an eye out for one of the many barrels on the Painted Barrel Trail, and purchase raffle tickets to win one! Tickets will be on sale in our tasting room during business hours starting February 1.

The hills are green and our vines are just beginning to bud. Enjoy this beautiful time to visit Livermore’s wine country!

Holidays in the Vineyards

2019 Holidays in the Vineyards

Join us for a Livermore Valley Wine Country holiday tradition! We’ll be showcasing our decorated tasting room with special wines, arts, holiday music, activities and more!

This is LVWA’s eighth season contributing to the local Toys For Tots program! Please consider donating a new, unwrapped toy. All donations will be matched 100%, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, by Pacific States Petroleum Inc.

Pulled Pork with Cab Franc BBQ Sauce

Chef Bob does it again with this complex sauce featuring our award-winning Cabernet Franc. Served with sourdough medallions, it’s the ideal pairing with a glass of wine.

3-4 lbs. bone-in pork shoulder

For the rub
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp each of the following: ground black pepper, garlic powder, seasoned salt, chili powder, smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste

For the sauce
½ cup Bent Creek Cabernet Franc
2 cups ketchup
½ to ¾ cup apple cider vinegar (to your liking)
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp each liquid smoke and garlic powder
¼ tsp prepared horseradish

Mix pork rub ingredients and rub all over pork shoulder. Smoke over low heat (250°F) until pork reaches an internal temperature of 190°F (6-8 hours). Wrap in foil and allow to cool. Discard fat and blade bone (if applicable). When pork is cool enough to handle, shred. In a bowl, add the pork and enough sauce to your liking, and mix well.

If using a slow cooker, place slices from one onion in the bottom. Season the pork shoulder with the rub and place in cooker on top of onions. Add enough water to fill 2/3 full. Cover and cook on low 8-12 hours or overnight. Remove the pork and discard the excess fat and bone. The remaining liquid and onion can be discarded. When the pork is cool, shred and add sauce as listed above.

Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan and stir. Bring to a soft boil for 7-10 minutes, allowing the ingredients to blend together and thicken.

Combine the coleslaw ingredients and mix into your own homemade slaw or a good packaged slaw.

Serve pulled pork on sourdough baguette slices, top with slaw, and pair with our Cabernet Franc.

A Remarkable Life: Tom Heineman

Tom Heineman

It is with heavy hearts that we report our founder, Thomas William “Tom” Heineman, passed away peacefully at home on November 5. He was 77.

Remembered for his infectious smile, insight, and generous spirit, Tom was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and moved to Livermore 30 years ago with his wife, Pat. Together they founded Bent Creek Vineyard, and in 2002 opened Bent Creek Winery with their friends Rich and Carol Howell.

Tom graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Education. He was hired by the Livermore Valley Unified School District as an elementary teacher. He continued his studies at San Jose State earning a Masters degree in Education. After teaching for several years he was appointed the Coordinator of Instructional Materials for the school district and was the driving force in getting technology into Livermore schools. He was later selected as the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Resources. He retired from education in 1998.

An educator, vintner, Rotarian, aviator, and old car buff, Tom had many talents and interests. One of his passions was restoring cars and trucks from the 1950s. There was usually a “project car” in the driveway or garage. He was also a talented designer and builder and took pride in his work. He enjoyed traveling with Pat throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. He was known for his generosity and willingness to help others. Tom was happiest when surrounded by his friends and his vineyard.

Please consider donating to the Livermore Valley Education Foundation in Tom’s memory.

Fun facts

Eight Bridges Cherry Blush and Bent Creek Vintage Port.
Here are some fun facts for your next obscure trivia night.
  • Syrah is Bent Creek’s flagship wine. We first sold it to Concannon in the ‘90s.
  • Eight Bridges Brewing has a Cherry Blush Barrel-Aged Sour beer that’s been aged in Bent Creek’s Vintage Port barrels.
  • Bent Creek shares its crusher/destemmer equipment with Charles R, our neighbors down the road.
  • SO2 is added to bins during punch-down to slow fermentation and help keep the grapes cool.
  • GEEK ALERT: Most wild vineyards in the U.S. have developed a natural resistance to the aphid-like root mite, Phylloxera vastatrix; however, when Wente first imported and planted French Zinfandel vines directly in the ground (e.g., own-root and not grafted), they all succumbed to this destructive insect. It was a hard-learned lesson for American winemakers. All existing Bent Creek varieties are grafted on UC Davis C5 (clone) I4 (American hybrid) Syrah rootstock and are resistant to Phylloxera.
  • Bent Creek vines were planted in 1996 and are very well established. Vineyards are on drip (roots are ~20’ deep with a ~15’ water table). Vines were watered only two times during the July 2015 drought (per Pat, 9-19-2015).
  • We source our Cabernet from Thatcher Bay and Del Arroyo Vineyards.
  • Bent Creek began producing Ports in 2004 under the guidance of Earl Ault, owner and winemaker at Cedar Mountain Winery in Livermore (and another retired LLNL physicist).
  • There’s a Cisco conference room named after Bent Creek!
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