Long-time friends Bob Bossi and Dan Rosenberg shifted their relationship when Dan moved to Livermore in 2003.
Bob had long appreciated fine wine and Dan got bitten by the wine bug after coming to the Livermore Valley. They traveled to California’s best wine regions and visited small, family-run wineries.
That resulted in planting a backyard vineyard in Dan’s yard in 2007 and home winemaking. They did their homework to learn the craft by volunteering with Livermore Valley winemakers—it was a major step in a different direction for a former accountant and insurance broker.
By 2012, they decided to build a new winery and purchased a six-acre Syrah vineyard and a winery site across from Sycamore Grove on the southwest side of Livermore. Since the winery opened its door in 2015 at 1200 Wetmore Road, they have produced award winning red wines.
They make a few whites (Livermore Valley Chardonnay and a Viognier from Madera), but prefer making a variety of red wines. They source fruit from the Livermore Valley, but also buy from selected other regions in California.
For instance, the 2015 Grenache comes from grapes grown in the Madera foothills, while the 2016 Carignane is sourced from the Brentwood area of Eastern Contra Costa County. Their Touriga grapes are grown in the Tracy Hills.
However, when Bob and Dan shine is on their Livermore Valley wines, both varietals and blends.
They make two versions of their Syrah, the reserve aged in 22 months in French oak, while the estate is aged 22 months in Hungarian oak. Both are small volume (138 cases and 119 cases, respectively). Both have received 90 points or more from the Wine Enthusiast.
They have fun both making and naming their red blends. The 2015 Roberitage from the Livermore Valley is 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 50 percent Syrah.
The 2015 Dante’s Inferno is their GSM blend from Syrah (44 percent), Mourvedre (37 percent) and Grenache (19 percent) that is a California wine.
The Two Cellar Rats is a blend of seven red grapes sources from a variety of areas. It’s different every year depending upon what’s available.
Wines range in price from $26 to $42 with wine club members receiving a 15 percent discount and a 20 percent discount on case purchases off the wine club price (a 32 percent saving over retail).
The Dante Robere wine club celebrates four releases a year. Members are invited to attend on a weekend day and are treated to tastes of the new releases paired with innovate foods prepared by Chef Scott Wall. On those days, the barrel room and covered loading dock become a tasting/dining area while the tasting room is open to both members and the public.
The winery is designed with a private tasting room and private patio for wine club members plus a delightful larger patio. Dante Robere open for tasting Friday-Sunday afternoons, although Bob and Dan love to invite folks for music and food on selected Wednesdays and Thursdays.
By Tim Hunt