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California winery gets stick for banning kids at weekends

Concannon Vineyard in the Livermore Valley, near San Francisco, has banned visitors from bringing children and infants to its winery at weekends. And not everyone is happy about it…

From 14 May, Concannon Vineyard in the Livermore Valley AVA, will no longer permit under 21’s on site in a bid to provide a more “relaxing” environment for guests.

“We have received feedback from guests and members alike asking for a more intimate experience on weekends to fully unwind, relax, and enjoy the pristine grounds,” the winery announced in a statement this week.

“The property will therefore be 21 and over (including infants) on Saturdays and Sundays only. As always, we strive to provide the highest quality of service and accommodate all guests, and that is why children and infants are welcome to join your reservation on weekdays: Monday, Thursday, and Friday, but currently no longer on weekends. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

While some patrons vocally supported the policy change on social media, the decision to ban children has proved to an unpopular one with parents who enjoy visiting the estate with their families, in part due to its large lawn area.

As reported by local news outlet NBC Bay Area, Liezl Cruz-Hou said: “As a parent, I get it, I too would like to have that adult-only time, however, my reality is like with some other families, my kids are gonna be with me 95 percent of the time.”

“Before I became a parent, I remember thinking ‘Concannon, that’s where I can go with my kids where I can still do my adult thing, drink wine, but with my kids,’ and I was so disappointed that’s not gonna be an option for me…

“It also speaks to the philosophy of who you see as your most valued guest, and it doesn’t seem like families are it’s top-valued guests,” Cruz-Hou added.

While parents are allowed to visit with children on weekdays, for many it feels like a token gesture as parents are often at work during the week and their kids at school.

One of the oldest wineries in the region, it’s thought that around 80% of California Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Concannon Clones that originate from a mother vine brought to the US from Bordeaux by the estate’s founder in 1893.

Concannon offers wine tastings inside its historic library, as well as outside in its pavilion, while picnics on the lawn area for groups of up to eight people prove especially popular during the warmer months. According to the winery’s website, dogs are welcomed, though guests are advised to “please keep furry friends on a leash”.

Livermore Valley has more than 1,6o0 hectares of cultivated vineyards and around 50 wineries. It’s perhaps best known for its Petite Sirah, but also for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay varieties.


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