Bodegas Aguirre History
One day while driving through the area, Dr. Ricardo Aguirre fell in love with the scenery and peacefulness within the vineyards of the Livermore Valley and immediately set his eyes on the future. In 1986 he purchased 32 acres of land among the beautiful rolling hillsides along East Tesla Road in the heart of the wine growing region.
In 1996 he commissioned Wente Vineyards to plant and develop 12 acres of grapes, half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Merlot. Even though Dr. Aguirre was already a seasoned connoisseur of fine wines, his original goal was to produce and sell premium wine grapes. Realizing the high quality of the grapes grown in his vineyards, he was inspired to become a winemaker. In 2000, he crafted a single barrel of wine using a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel.
In 2001, he entered the commercial wine scene and became the 23rd bonded winery in Livermore. In 2002, he purchased 30 new barrels of French and American oak from Seguin Moreau. One of his first wines, a 2002 Petite Sirah Reserva was the highest rated wine at the annual 2005 Livermore Valley Wine Competition.
And his Merlot was so delicious, he made the decision to blend it with his very first barrel and the Castello Novo wine was born. Better known as the “wedding wine,” this blend of five varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Syrah was created as a wedding gift to his daughter and her husband. To this day, the Castello Novo continues to inspire wine lovers with its complex blend of grapes and its delightful love story.
The following year, he purchased another property on Tesla Road where our Bodegas Aguirre Estate is currently located, and planted seven acres of Petite Sirah. In 2002 he crushed thirty tons of grapes and made his first commercial wine. And in 2006, Dr. Aguirre invited the public to share in his passion when he presented his very first releases.
For the first three years, the Bodegas Aguirre winery featured a variety of wines, most of which were red. In 2007, Dr. Aguirre crafted his first white wine using Chardonnay grapes. This was just the first of many new varietals being created at the winery. Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, and Tempranillo would soon follow.
The Bodegas Aguirre Winery is family owned and operated. Dr. Aguirre cares for the vineyards and wine making, his daughter Sylvia manages the Tasting Room and Wine Club, and wife Margarita oversees business processes. Credentials are important and for this reason, Dr. Aguirre studied and successfully completed the commercial wine program at U.C. Davis. This expertise and family combination has produced many award winning wines that continue to delight our customers.
Our philosophy is to produce handcrafted wines with softly integrated tannins to be enjoyed young or save in your wine cellar to continue to develop gracefully in the bottle. We strive for wines of balance, wines of interest, and wines that will excite your taste buds.
We invite you to visit our Tasting Room where you can explore wines that truly express our unique terroir and a true sense of place.
Carlos Caña was a beloved and well known artist from El Salvador who had the opportunity to study with Pablo Picasso in the early 1900’s. Dr. Aguirre became friends with Caña during his later years, and he held a great admiration for his paintings. When the doctor was in the course of designing his very first label for the 2002 vintage, he turned to his friend Caña and asked for permission to use the “Children playing with balls" as the basis for his label. His painting became the vision for all future labels that adorn our bottles today.