SUNOL WELCOMES a lovely new business to Main Street as Little Valley
Vineyard Espresso Bar and Tasting Room opens today. Sunol's
Sandi Bohner and her husband, Bill Webster have transformed
what was the Sunol Lounge into an elegant yet cozy, family-friendly
establishment. The shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily,
offering espresso, gourmet coffees, tea smoothies, hot chocolate,
juices and other soft drinks, and freshly baked muffins, pastries
and scones all day.
At noon each day, the wine tasting bar will open, with complimentary
tastes of varietal wines, and an additional menu of soups, salads
and savory foccacia. Wine and champagne will be available from
the tasting bar, by the glass, and for purchase by the bottle.
You can also pick up a little gourmet gift such as honey, tampenade
and specialty coffees - for giving or as a treat for yourself.
Sandi and Bill have a small vineyard in Sunol, by their home
of five years on Little Valley Road. Their grapes are two years
away from bottling, but when they're ready, Little Valley will
present the first Sunol-grown Spanish tempranillo, a medium
red wine with a little spice in the after taste, somewhat similar
to pinot noir.
Until their grapes are ready, Little Valley will be barreling
and bottling a tempranillo made from Central California grapes,
as well as chardonnay from the Seneca Valley and zinfandel and
cabernet from local growers in the Livermore Valley. The growth
of the extended family of Livermore Valley vineyards is a passion
for Sandi and Bill and Sandi is on the board of the Livermore
Valley Winegrowers Association.
"Along with Elliston Vineyards (on Kilkare Road in Sunol),
we're the missing link between Sunol and the wineries in Livermore
and along Palomares Road," Sandi said. "We call ourselves
the Westenders of the Livermore Valley wine country. Sunol is
on its way to becoming the gateway to the growing Livermore
Valley wine country." And the Espresso Bar and Tasting
Room here is a wonderful step in that direction.
The outside of the building has been painted a soft sage green,
and inside there are rustic Spanish hues of eggplant, mustard
and cranberry, along with candlelight, plants, tables and a
comfy couch. "We'd like this to be a nice, comfortable,
peaceful place for the community and visitors to Sunol to gather,"
Sandi explained. And she means it: on the "coffee card"
you can pick up at the espresso bar (10 drinks and the 11th
is free), it says, "Eat, Drink & Chill Out."
Bill and Sandi plan to have acoustic music for special occasions,
poetry readings, comedy nights and other events, and hope eventually
to expand to evening hours. The tasting room can be rented for
smaller catered evening events now, and the adjacent space that
housed the General Store will be ready soon for bigger private
events. Little Valley will offer beverage packages for these
events. And keeping the business in the Sunol family, Little
Valley's exclusive caterer is Kilkare Woods resident Skip Hinsley,
owner of Girasole restaurant in Pleasanton and the Big Horn
Grill in San Ramon.
Lest ye fear downtown's getting hoity-toity, there is more
than a little touch of whimsy in our newest establishment. Little
Valley's tempranillo will be bottled under the White Rabbit
label, so named, Sandy tattles, "because Bill is always
late." The couple collects White Rabbit memorabilia, some
of which is displayed in the tasting room, along with paintings
from the Bay Area Glover Group of artists. Work by local artists
and artisans will be considered for display and sale.
There's also a teeny table for toddlers, and a snazzy drinking
bowl and treats for the family pup, who will, of course, be
limited to patio dining. Stop by the Little Valley Espresso
Bar and Tasting Room soon (11986 Main St., Sunol, 925-862-9006)
to meet this charming, friendly couple and enjoy Sunol's new
branch on the local wine country vine.