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Four-day wine weekend opens today in Pleasanton

'Taste our Terroir' kicks off with food and wine pairing

The Livermore Valley Winegrowers' Association will begin four days of celebrating and sharing wine with its premier food and wine pairing event from 5-9 p.m. Thursday at Casa Real in Pleasanton.

Eighteen winemakers have partnered with Bay Area chefs to compete for honors, to be judged by three professionals via blind-tasting to award Most Innovative Pairing, Judges' Best Pairing and Best Classic Pairing.

Guests at the dinner can taste the 18 pairings, bid on luxurious silent auction items, enjoy decadent desserts and cast two votes in the People's Choice competition.

VIP tickets ($125 until sold out) grant access to the event at 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $95. This event sells out every year; there will be no tickets available at the door, organizers said.

"Taste Our Terroir" will continue for three more days as wineries across the Valley host cooking classes, blending sessions, vineyard tours and other unique experiences.

Visit www.LVwine.org for tickets and details on all the events, which include:

Friday, July 22

* Lunch and Learn: Pairing Summer Risotto

* Chomped: A Mystery Challenge to create the perfect small plate

* A Wine Country Progressive Dinner

Saturday, July 23

* Taste our Terroir through Wine and Food

* Sauvignon Blanc & Ghielmetti Vineyard: 1 Varietal, 3 Winemakers

* Cabernet Clones of the Livermore Valley

* The Wine Country Lobster Feed

Sunday, July 24

* Vine to Table: Brunch with Posada

* Better with Age, Best with Chocolate

* An Exploration of Port: From Portugal to Livermore Valley

Terroir?

The French term "terroir" expresses "a sense of place," the way conditions of land, climate, culture and technique combine to create wine attributes specific to a region.

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