Next Stop: Tri-Valley

World Famous Wente Vineyards, Rare Cars at The Blackhawk Automotive Museum,Olive Oil Picking and Tasting at The Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa, Golf Lessons at The Bridges Golf Club, Pairing Wine with Food at Amber Bistro, Livermore Wine Country Festival, Band Favorite Wolf Hamlin & The Front Porch Drifters.
























NEXT STOP TRI-VALLEY-Transcription Season 3

00:00-00:03 JON: Hi I’m Jon Olson, welcome to Next Stop from Tri-Valley
00:19-00:35 JON: Welcome to Next Stop, from beautiful Tri-Valley in Northern California. On this episode we will feature local food and wine, incredible automobiles, heart pounding music and passionate locals, including a singing sommelier. All this and more oj Next Stop Tri-Valley, the fun starts now!
00:36-00:37 Next Stop logo
00:43-03:39 JON: Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously operated family owned winery in the United States. It’s a wonderful story about commitment to quality, sustainability and family.
PHIL: It started in 1883 with my great grandfather, he came from Germany in the 1870’s, learned to make wine in the Napa Valley as an apprentice under Charles Kruge, fell in love with the business or got the bug, however you want to put it, decided to start his own winery and moved down to the Livermore Valley and purchased 40 acres in 1883.
JON: You guys have done amazing things with your property. Obviously your vineyards are very successful, but you have got a golf course. What I like about what you guys is you just use the land, you didn’t knock things down, you built it right into what the land was.
PHIL: People associated their experience at the wineries with their love with that particular wine or region or wherever else, so that it was really clear that wine regions were tourist destinations that needed to have other amenities.
JON: You guys have also been recently recognized for your sustainability.
PHIL: Well speaking of that Christine is waiting in the caves and she is going to tell you all about that.
JON: Before sustainability was even a word, Wente Vineyards was incorporating sustainable practices into their vineyards, and into your restaurant. How are you guys so far ahead of the curve?
CHRISTINE: Well sustainability has always been part of my families philosophy. This property where we are now, we are our historic caves, they have been here for more that 100 years, naturally temperature controlled for aging wine, and on this property we also have a beautiful 1,000 square foot organic herb and vegetable garden. Much of the produce for our restaurant comes from that garden, herbs, vegetable, even some flowers, and it is very seasonal, and our master gardener, Diane, who has been here for 25 years works in conjunction with our chefs to decide what to grow. The chefs actually walk out there daily and harvest, and incorporate the ingredients into their menu.
JON: That is so cool, and you guy have events year round. Big into weddings, but you have an amazing summer concert series.
CHRISTINE: We have awesome summer concerts, a gorgeous outdoor ampitheater right behind the restaurant.
JON: Family businesses are hard to even get 2 generations in, 5 generations, you are still going strong. How has that happened, number one, and is that a little bit of pressure on you and your brother?
CHRISTINE: Only in a good way, we both love it. My brother Carl is our winemaker, he was trained to be a winemaker and is very involved in making every single one of our estate grown wines. This is our Riva Ranch chardonnay, Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay, this is from our vineyards in Arroyo Seco, Monterey. It’s a nice bright, fresh tropical flavors, I think you will really like it, cheers.
JON: I’m sure I will, cheers.
03:45-03:46 Next Stop logo
03:46-04:08 JON: The Tri-Valley region of Northern California is comprised of 5 lovely towns, Dublin, Danville, Livermore, San Ramone, and Pleasanton. Located just 33 miles from San Francisco and 27 miles from San Jose, few places are as unspoiled, charming and authentic as the Tri-Valley. Go to and plan your next trip to this gorgeous region.
04:09-04:10 Next Stop logo
04:11-06:06 JON: The Blackhawk Automotive Museum located in Danville is a 100,000 square foot architectural masterpiece, and a car enthusiasts dream
TIMOTHY: We have approximately 90 cars at any one time on display.
JON: So they are rotating?
TIMOTHY: That is correct, yes.
JON: So where do you get them from?
TIMOTHY: Some of the cars are owned by the museum, and then we are extremely fortunate we have some owners that have had cars on long term loan here.
JON: These Rolls Royces back here are beautiful.
TIMOTHY: They are, and there are identical, those are Phantom Five Rolls Royces, just money alone would not allow you to own one of those, you had to be head of state royalty.
JON: The proper class.
TIMOTHY: That is exactly it. Those are the only two 2 door in existence. We have the 1952 Ferrari that Phil Hill owned personally and drove up to Pebble Beach.
JON: So we are on the next level right now, kind of the sexy car level. Not that the sports cars aren’t sexy, but tell us about what women say when they come up here.
TIMOTHY: When they look at the cars, they like it because they are just beautiful cars.
JON: And they are sexy.
JON: There are a couple of ones that really stand out here, first of all, that one over there has got to be the oldest care you have.
TIMOTHY: That is. That is our oldest original car, it is a 1906 Cadillac.
JON: This looks like it is out of the George Jetson era, this is really cool, it looks like a spaceship.
TIMOTHY: Of these 5 cars, the 3 we are looking here, the 3 Alfa Romeo, possibly, historically the most significant trio of cars out there.
JON: So you say that you do rotate the cars, but the Mona Lisa doesn’t leave.
TIMOTHY: That would be a tough one to rotate. If somebody comes to see that and it is not here…that has been at the museum since we opened. It’s a great car, and looks wonderful, gets everybodys attention and we are extremely proud of it.
06:07-06:08 Next Stop logo
06:10-06:14 JON: Coming up on Next Stop, a beautiful wine country resort, and some local flavors.
06:15-06:16 Next Stop logo
06:18-07:02 JON: Nestled in the serene Livermore Valley lies a little piece of heaven, also known as the Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort and Spa. Before we learn about this award winning property, they are going to put me to work picking olives. Derek, I’m Jon, nice to meet you.
DEREK: Likewise. So we have these buckets, and when you hand pick its basically you are just raking the olives off the tree into you rbuckets.
JON: They almost look like grapes.
DEREK: They do, manzanilla, it’s a spanish varietal, but they also make a really nice big robust oil.
JON: So the orchards very cool, but your property is very stunning. let’s go explore.
DEREK: Alright, lets do it.
07:09-09:08 JON: I love your property, one thing that stands out big time to me is the roses, this time of year-they bloom all the time?
DEREK: Yeah, from about February through November, we have the beautiful California sun.
JON: That’s crazy. This property is so peaceful, away from everything. You have 10 rooms, and each one is a little bit unique. Your bedding is unbelievable, I have never slept in such comfortable bedding anywhere in the world.
DEREK: They are soft, they are luxury. That’s what we try to do here, even though it is out in the country, it’s a country setting, our bedding, it’s one thing we have really invested in. Being in wine country, we have a lot of great support in the wine country community, and what Livermore needs is a wine country experience, and that is what we can offer people here.
JON: I spent hours in the orchard picking today, I got really dirty.
RHIANNON: Yes. Great!
JON: So now I want to taste the fruits of my labor.
DEREK: First vintage we labeled Handprints, in honor of all of our friends and family that have had their handprints all over this property not only for ourselves, as well as for our son.
JON: It has a deep meaning, very nice.
DEREK: That is our sons handprints, that is vintage one.
JON: So what we looking for here.
DEREK: Just like wine, you give it a little swirl, and just like wine, you sip it. A little air in.
JON: This is so good and fresh. You just don’t get olive oil this fresh.
RHIANNON: No, this is just a couple of months old now.
JON: Oh my gosh, congratulations.
RHIANNON: Thank you.
JON: Now spas to me are synonymous with wine country. You us have a spa, tell me about that.
RHIANNON: We do, we have an 8 room day spa, It’s a great opportunity to come to wine country, experience what Livermore Valley has to offer. Relax, rejuvenate, enjoy the pool area, and really leave refreshed and ready to go about your life.
09:11-09:13 Next Stop logo
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09:35-09:36 Next Stop logo
09:38-11:31 JON: the food scene in Danville is thriving. Tonight we are at Amber Bistro, one of the local favorites. Eric, Danville is an awesome place, this is my first time.
ERIC: Just a small little town in the foothill of Mount Diablo, really quaint little downtown, beautiful boutiques, lots of restaurants.
JON: Lots of restaurant! I think there has got to be a dozen on this street alone.
ERIC: Easily, yeah. All different types of food, so lots of choices.
JON: This place is obviously very popular with the locals.
ERIC: Yes it is. What is unique about it is that is really a neighborhood restaurant for the locals here, but it does bring a little bit of a city sophistication in the menu and the wine program, the bar program, to Danville.
JON: So you are a sommelier by trade. I practiced that word in the car, I got it right?
ERIC: You got it right, you did good.
JON: So this would be awesome for you to live in this community and to see the wine country just growing like this, and being able to pair it with your food, which leads me to the next thing. Let’s pair it with your food!
ERIC: First dish is a fire roasted salmon, nice little spice in there.
JON: Looks good, smells good.
ERIC: Red curry sauce, salmon, artichokes, and what I like to pair it with is a viogner, something that goes well with the spice salmon.
JON: It’s really nice.
ERIC: And on a hot day like this, it’s nice and refreshing as well, so a good combination. And just back by popular demand, it’s alaskan halibut, the season was opened just a little while ago, this particular dish we do a little almond crust. the next one is kind of my little weak spot, I can never get enough duck. The best match with duck is pinot.
JON: When I think of duck, I think of gamey. This is not at all.
ERIC: Not, it is not gamey at all. And really, the duck breast if it a wonderful quality like this, it shouldn’t be gamey at all.
JON: A pleasure to meet you, thank you for having us.
ERIC:. Real nice meeting you.
11:36-11:38 Next Stop logo
11:39-11:44 JON: Up next I get some pointers from a female golf professional, and we have some fun at a local festival.
11:47-11:48 Next Stop logo
11:49-14:21 JON: For you golf enthusiasts, The Bridges Golf Club located in San Ramone is a must. Now Wendy, I’m not very good golfer, I need to learn some stuff. I brought my shoes, and I brought my glove, but I didn’t bring my clubs, because they don’t fit so well.
WENDY: That’s ok. So what we are going to do today is just kind of a rough draft, look and how fast you are swinging the club that will kind of give us an estimate of what kind of shaft you will need. Alright, let’s take a look at your swing. You want kind of a natural arm hang there, so your arm should hang naturally down to the club. Now we’ve also got to look where you are lined up to, you are headed straight for those people over there that are on 17, we probably don’t want to hit them, we want to go more towards the fairway over here.
JON: Hi!
WENDY: That’s alright.
JON: Little better than mine. This is a spectacular location, look at this clubhouse.
WENDY: It’s pretty amazing.
JON: This is just beautiful. So weddings are a huge part of your business.
WENDY: They are here.
JON: It’s about half, right?
WENDY: Exactly, we do about 120 weddings a year.
JON: That’s unbelievable, that like one every three days?
WENDY: It is, yes.
JON: Then golf is obviously a big part of what you do as well.
WENDY: We do, yes, a lot of rounds of golf here.
JON: You’ve got memberships, but guys like me can come and play anytime?
WENDY: We will take you anytime.
JON: Gavin, one of your assistant pro’s loaned me his clubs, so thanks again. Gavin has a good sense of humor.
WENDY: Does he?
JON: Look at this guy!
WENDY: Oh yeah, that’s adorable.
JON: He’s scottish! If it’s not scottish it’s crap! Let’s talk about one of the hardest parts of the game-putting. What do you tell people?
WENDY: I tell people to relax and just trust your swing.
JON: I think we should have a little challenge, because this green looks a really challenging. Winner gets what?
WENDY: A beer?
JON: Fair enough. I like it. (laughs) Oh man! Our balls hit each other!
WENDY: Almost! Alright, you are buying me a beer!
JON: Wendy thank you for your pointers.
WENDY: Happy to help.
JON: One more pointer though. I need to learn to stand like a golfer.
WENDY: Yes, yes you do. So you put one foot on the ground, cross one foot in front of the other, lean a little bit on that putter, hand on the hip.
JON: Like this?
WENDY: You look great!
JON: I like it, thanks for a great day.
WENDY: You’re welcome.
JON: Let’s go get that beer.
WENDY: Love it, thanks.
14:23-14:24 Next Stop logo
14:25-16:09 JON: We are in the heart of downtown Livermore for the 22nd annual Livermore Wine Country Festival. Let’s have some fun! I have never been to a festival with more variety.
RACHAEL: And that is what we want you to go away with. It is really celebrating the location, which is our downtown. The restaurants, the shopping, the arts and crafts, the local beer, the local wine, it’s Livermore.
JON: So I have one request for you, I want you to go ziplining with me, and in exchange, you can put me to work.
RACHAEL: I will totally do it. I am short one beer pourer, you can pour some local beer.
JON: Can I drink it?
RACHAEL: Yes, that will be your pay.
JON: I like it!
STEPHEN: Today we are pouring 3 different styles, we have our tarred blackberry wheat beer, figured today being the wine festival, everyone is out there walking around, a nice cold refreshing beer would be great. We use natural blackberrys in the beer itself during the fermentation, so you taste it, but it’s not overly sweet.
JON: I can taste it. There ya go! Have a little head on your beer, will ya? Since I did such an awesome job pouring beer, I found something more daring that ziplining for Rachael and me to do.
RACHAEL; Next Stop.
JON: Livermore downtown, baby! I’m at probably the most impressive booth in the entire festival, the NBC Bay Area booth. Lance, there is a lot going on here.
LANCE: What we do is incorporate many of our clients as well as some of the franchises that NBC has on their programming. We have football, we have baseball. Alaska Airlines has joined us and we have enhanced our visit from last year, and it’s non stop.
JON: I like what you have going on. You have dancers, cooking demonstrations, you are bringing aloha to Livermore.
16:19-18:20 JON: Festival goers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. We’ve got Jenny here, how old are you Jenny?
JENNY: I’m 12.
JON: And where are you from?
JENNY: I’m from Fremont.
JON: I understand you really want to be on tv, so I’m going to change roles with you, I’m going to give you the mic, and you can interview me. How about that?
JENNY: What do you like best about the atmosphere of this festival?
JON: I just think it is a big celebration. It’s a really nice day, so everybody is out and having a really good time and celebrating their local community, which is lovely.
JENNY: So have you tasted any wine yet?
JON: Not today, it’s a little early yet for me, but I will be tasting wine throughout the day. That is a good question. What about you, have you tasted any wine yet?
JENNY: No, I’m only 12!
JON: haha, I know. Most of the festival activities of course are on the outside, but we happen to have discovered a hidden treasure on the inside, follow me. I love great chinese restaurants, and I expected we probably would find some good restaurants in Tri-Valley, but we have never seen a restaurant with such an impressive wine list. Nick, this is incredible.
NICK: Well you are probably looking at 800 different items, including like, white wine, red wine, dessert wines.
JON: You have a special gift, please share with our viewers.
JON: Bravo! Thank you. What did I tell you, hidden treasure? I think so!
NICK: Thank you.
JON: What a wonderfully colorful and diverse festival. We met some great local, colorful people and very talented. And how about Nick? Opera in a chinese restaurant? Wow. This is just one of the many festivals that happen throughout the year in the beautiful Tri-Valley. For more information on this and other things Tri-Valley go to When Next stop returns, we feature Wold Hamlin and the Front Porch Drifters.
18:24-18:25 Next Stop logo
18:26-18:55 MUSIC
18:56-19:52 JON: Our featured musician is Wolf Hamlin, you saw him on American Idol, you now see him on Next Stop. Wolf, welcome.
WOLF: Thank you.
JON: Let’s talk about American Idol, that must have been an incredible experience for you.
WOLF: It was incredible, a lot of hurry up and wait.
JON: Yeah. That’s how TV is.
WOLF: Dude, you go oh, I’m, I’m not, I’ve got to wait 7 more hours so, it definitely wracks your brain, because now you can gain more and more and more nervousness as the day goes on.
JON: You have a very eclectic band.
WOLF: Very much so.
JON: Businessmen, teachers, winemakers, talk about your band.
WOLF: I got it all. I got my lead guitar player is a teacher, a geology teacher. My other guitar player Carl is a winemaker for a local vineyard that has been around for a hundred plus years. My fiance is one of the fiddle players, I’m lucky she said yes and I didn’t have to pay a dime, worked out good.
JON: But you did though, you had to buy a ring.
WOLF: Well yeah, but I’m talking about like actually just under the table, please, just so my mom’s happy, you know how it goes.
19:53- 20:08 MUSIC
20:09-20:32 JON: Your fans love you guys, you have such a bumping energy.
WOLF: Yeah, it is fun. And you feed off of that, when people are getting excited and you see the excitement in their face, that just makes you want more and makes you want to give them an awesome experience. The only thing that is worth anything in this life is friends, music, good people and good times, Just relaxing and do it.
20:31-20:26 MUSIC
20:27-20:28 Next Stop logo
20:30-20:51 JON: Thanks for joining us on Next Stop from the beautiful Tri-Valley, and thanks to this shows sponsor, Visit Tri-Valley. And to our hotel partners, the Livermore Courtyard by Marriott, and the Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort and Spa. Alaska Airlines, and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, we love you guys and we thank you for your partnership. Next Stop, where will we take you next? Make good memories, everybody.
20:52-20:54 Next Stop logo
Credits Roll