August 29, 2012 | Wine Country Travel | Wendy Van Diver
Visiting Livermore Valley Part 4
After a fabulous sleep at the sumptuous Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa, I sat down to my exceptional made-to-order omelet in the cheery dining room. Owners Derek and Rhiannon Eddy joined me and talked about what it’s like to run the only inn of its kind in Livermore Valley. Basically, it’s a labor of love. This is an ideal spot for a private wedding, because there’s indoor event space, plus a beautiful lawn accented with olive trees for ceremonies. In fact, with advance planning, a wedding party can book all ten rooms and take over the entire resort for a weekend.
After breakfast, I said good bye and headed to Garré Winery to do some more research for the story I’m about to write on event venues in Livermore Valley. I met with Monica, who manages the tasting room and Irene who showed me the winery’s café, Grand Pavilion, and the Martinelli Event Center. It was a little early for me to have lunch, but I was tempted by the scent of the focaccia bread wafting across the grounds. They have a darling little restaurant with outdoor seating: open for lunch on Monday through Saturday; and breakfast on Sunday.
Next, I had to make a quick stop back at Crooked Vine Winery. No, I didn’t leave my phone there the day before. I had to make a jewelry stop! You see, I couldn’t get this cute pair of sparkly grape earrings off my mind. I just had to buy them. So, I popped in just as Sandy posted the “Welcome” sign and bought myself a pair. After a little window shopping in Livermore and Pleasanton where I had a great salad at the Rising Loaf, I met up with Michelle Pangrazio, the director of marketing and branding for Beets Hospitality Group. Beets has two magnificent venues in Livermore Valley: Palm Event Center in the Vineyard and Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery. Michelle showed me around both.
When the tour was over, I realized that it was nearly four p.m. and I hadn’t had a single sip of wine all day! I had just enough time to check into my room at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Livermore Wine Country before my last appointment of the day. I was impressed with the attractive and inviting lobby area. There’s a spacious dining area where I was told I could enjoy a free hot breakfast in the morning. General Manager Catherine Cheda came out from her office to greet me. She was as gracious and concerned about my comfort as if she owned the place herself.