Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

May 23, 2006 > Fine wines, fine music, fine times

Fine wines, fine music, fine times

by Steve Warga

As the warmth of summer days fades into cooling evening breezes, pleasant times with wine, food and song return once more to the great outdoors. Local wineries have published their schedules of concerts open to all. Whether you're an oenophile or one of many who don't yet know the fancy word for lovers of wine, check out the variety of fine wines, fine music and fine times awaiting your pleasure.

Tesla Vintners, near Livermore isn't even waiting for summer's first day. Their "Playin' On The Patio - Season II" kicks off Friday, May 26 with local folk music artist, Roger Kardinal, Bay Area jazz and blues performer, Sue Lukito and the return of the "legendary" Singing Winemaker. After hearing from many of last year's attendees, Tesla moved their Friday and Saturday schedules back to 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gimanelli's will cater the Friday events while Saturdays will feature treats from Cassandra's; both are Pleasanton-based deli-caterers. Along with the food, a wide variety of wines can be purchased by the bottle or by the glass. There is no charge for the concerts.

Sundays will be favored by concerts and libations at Niles Canyon neighbors (on Palomares Rd), Chouinard Vineyards and Westover Winery. Chiounard will host concerts June 18 through August 27, with an emphasis on dance-type music. Tom Rigney and Flambeau will fire up their Cajun vibes in the first concert of the summer. All events begin at 4:30 p.m. Bring your own gourmet picnic and add a Chouinard's wine or two available for purchase. There is a $35 charge per vehicle and only by reservation. No outside alcoholic beverages.

Westover Winery will fill the air with Cajun music on June 11, Funk, Soul and Rock n' Roll on July 16 and  present "Winestock" on August 13. Bill Westover invites people to "load up your vehicle (no 40 passenger buses please!), bring a picnic dinner, and join us for a late afternoon / early evening of great music, good friendship and outstanding wine." Cost is minimal since entry charge is by the "car load" plus any wines purchased. All concerts will take place at the winery and will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. (except for the August event - 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The schedule of shows at Tesla Vinters is:

Friday, May 26     Roger Kardinal, Sue Lukito,
Saturday, May 27     Blue Truth
Friday June 2     Wicker Vault
Saturday June     Stay Tuned
Friday June 9     Steve Kritzer
Saturday June 10     Big Rain
Friday June 16     Loren Olk
Saturday June 17     Bacchus Brothers
Friday June 23     Blue House
Saturday June 2     Jim Hurley & Wendy DeMos and a special appearance by Nashville recording artist, Len Snow
Friday June 30    Hummingbirdz

For more information, contact Tesla Vintners at (925) 606-9463.

The schedule of shows at Choinard Vineyards is:

Sunday, June 18     Cajun in the Vineyards - Tom Rigney & Flambeau
Sunday, June 25     Raggae in the Vineyards - Red Di
Sunday, July 9         Jazz in the Vineyards - Akira Tana
Sunday, July 16     Cajun in the Vineyards - Tee Fee - Swamp Boogie - Zydeco
Sunday, July 23     Swing in the Vineyards - Mood Swing
Sunday, July 30     Blues in the Vineyards - Delta Wires-Rockin' Blues
Sunday, August 6     Jazz in the Vineyards II - Madeline Eastman
Sunday, August 13     70's & 80's Dancing in the Vineyards - Sugarbeat
Sunday, August 20     70's & 80's Dancing in the Vineyards II - Sugarbeat
Sunday, August 27     Blues in the Vineyards II

For more information call Choinard Vineyards (510) 582-9900, or visit

Westover's Schedule follows:

Sunday, June 11    Tom Rigney and Flambeau (Cajun)    $35 per car
Sunday, July 16    Floor Shakers (Funk Soul and Rock & Roll)    $35 per car
Sunday, August 13    Winestock Westover's legendary peace and love fest from the 60s! Music by two great groups: Monsters of Rock; and Kathleen Cairns & Tattoo Blue. There will be a communal food table (pot luck -- please bring a dish to share), lots of groovy company and, of course, Westover wines. Please bring, in addition to food, tie dyed shirts, peace signs, old bras for burning and canned goods to be donated to a local food kitchen. ($40 per car)

For more information and reservations, call (510) 537-3932 or visit
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