Livermore Valley Wine Industry in East Bay, California

livermore-valley-mine-countryWine has been cultivated in this region going way back to the late 19th century. The Livermore Valley wine-growing region is based within the borders of Alameda County, California. There are several prize-winning wineries within the Livermore Valley. These include the Steven Kent Winery, Concannon Vineyard, Occasio Winery, the Big White House and John Evan Cellars.

Many of the wines produced here are award-winning and have accolades in France. But it was during the prohibition years, when most wineries were shut down, that the Livermore Valley saw two of its production continue to thrive. The Wente Vineyard has enjoyed being the valley’s biggest producer and exporter in the region.


The Wente Vineyards can produce up to 750,000 cases of wine every year with much of the produce being exported or used in showrooms, tasting centres or sold to smaller distributors at a wholesale price.

The viticulture area was named after landowner Robert Livermore. There is a groundwater basin within the valley that holds enough water to supply the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Although there are four other aquifers used to supply much of San Francisco city itself.


It was as recently as half a century ago when Livermore was producing as much wine as the Napa Valley. But where Napa was a household name for wineries and wine production in the early 1960s, Livermore was not. Yet the first family-run wine production business in Livermore began as early as 1883 and it is still functioning today – a feat unmatched by any other family-run winery in the United States.

The Concannon Vineyard is one of the other largest producers within the Livermore wine producing region. It too was established in the late 19th century but it is now run by a major corporation in the wine distribution industry. Still, there are many independent and smaller wineries functioning today in the Livermore Valley.


There is something very different about the viticulture in Livermore, which sets it apart from other wine growers: firstly, that these vineyards have an east to west orientation (unlike many other which run north to south) to take advantage of the warm breezes coming off the San Francisco Bay Area.

The microclimate here ensures there is always a warm onshore breeze during the afternoon and early evening and offers to grapes a wide temperature variation. This gives red grapes a particularly exciting taste and flavor once produced into some of the world’s most desired wine.

So be sure to visit the Livermore Valley if you are a wine enthusiast and especially if you are loooking to become one. Contact us at Armario Venema Homes for more information on living in Pleasanton and the Tri Valley

Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton California

Pleasanton CA SchoolsIf you live in the East Bay, and have kids, there is a good chance you may have heard of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California. It is a California Distinguished School and has achieved a National Blue Ribbon status. Its first graduation took place way back in 1923 and as recently as 2014, the school had over 2,500 students.

Amador Valley High has its rival, as all good Californian high schools so often do, and the Foothill High School, located on the opposite side of town is the one. Amador Valley High began with no more than eight students and eventually became well known for producing quality municipal bands, cheerleading sections and high-ranking sports teams.

This public high school opens at 7.00 a.m. during it’s semesters and school is finished by 3.00 p.m. Most of the students begin their first lesson at 8.00 a.m., with the first classes usually being left as a free period for most.

Pleasanton Schools Group pic

The school offers 12 varsity sports teams for the boys, and a further 11 for the girls. It offers intense sporting programs in basketball, cross country running, soccer, football, basketball, baseball, golf, lacrosse, softball and swimming. There are many extra-curricular classes available for diving, spirit squad, tennis, wrestling, water polo, volleyball and track and field events like the pentathlon and decathlon events.

There is a big music and band program that takes place at the school too. It has its own orchestra and glee club. Many of the bands and varsity sports teams are used in special events outside the school. The school’s Marching Band and Colour Guard are often seen competing in the Western Band Circuit events.

Pleasanton Football

The Amador Valley Marching Dons are highly decorated with several high finishes at the WBA events. The Math Team is also regularly well placed in the Mathematical Association of America competitions.

The school even has its own Robotics Team where students design unmanned vehicle systems and use them for display and competition at science fairs across the country. In 2001, the school built and designed a Manta Ray AUV weighing in at just over 200 pounds, in which Amador’s robotic and science team achieved second place.


Speaking and debating are two topics which the school emphasises on. It has held mock trails and received accolades for its performances in public speaking. The Amador Theatre has been part of the school since 1930 – just another string to its bow of outstanding performances and team work which takes place there.

For more information on Living in Pleasanton California or in the Tri-Valley, Contact Us. We would be happy to help.

Spending a day in Danville California


Danville CaliforniaDanville is positioned in the San Ramon Valley of California. As of 2010, it had a total population of 42,039. Danville is a popular East Bay suburb for many reasons, like some of the cultural and tourist attractions below. It’s location is perfect for those commuters and families that want to be within a 30 minute drive or Bart ride from Oakland and San Francisco.

Here are just a few facts about Danville:


Danville has experienced many transformations over last 130 years. Also known as the ” Heart of the San Ramon Valley”, it was primarily populated by Native Americans. The city is named after Daniel Inman, who with his brother (Andrew), bought 10,000 acres of land in 1854 via his gold rush earnings. Farming in the area switched from farming wheat to fruits and nuts. It was all possible after 1891 when Southern Specific Railroad was constructed. Gradually, around the late 1940s, the residential suburb was formed and the population started expanding which boomed during the 1970s and 1980s.

Some of Danville’s attractions:

  • The Iron Horse Regional Trail that runs through Danville is an 80 foot wide corridor that is used by bikers and incorporates some great hiking trails.
  • Monte Vista High School and San Ramon Valley High School are the two popular Schools in Danville. Del Amigo School is also nested in the foothills of Mount Diablo State Park and supports grades 6 through 12. These schools are also among the some of the best in California.
  • Danville Library conducts a number of community events and fundraisers. Also has a few Book Sales every year.
  • The Museum of San Ramon Valley organises a large number of regional exhibitions portraying the valley’s history and culture.

Danville CA

Spending the day in Danville:

  • Downtown Danville has a charming farmer’s market that runs on Saturdays between 9:00 am- 1 pm. Items here rotate with the season. Local goat cheese, nuts and fruits are its most famous items.
  • Diablo State Park is 3,900 feet high with many camping areas, hiking trails and is a cyclist’s paradise with trails and amazing view spots.
  • Shops and restaurants: The heart of Danville is pedestrian friendly and a great place to have a lazy stroll in the evening, do some shopping and to have dinner at one of their great restaurants.
  • The Village Theatre and Art Gallery is a recognized historic site that features amazing art openings and live performances in it’s main theatre and art education in the children’s theatre.
  • Blackhawk Automotive Museum: Known for it’s extensive collection of classic, rare and unique automobiles.
  • Even Larry Allen the former football player and Leroy Chao the famous astronaut have resided in Danville.

For more information on Living in Danville or within the Tri-Valley, Contact –

Foothill High School Sports and Academic Importance

Foothill High School

Foothill High School is located in Pleasanton CA and is one of the most comprehensive schools in the unified school district of the San Francisco Bay area. Opened in the early 1970s, Foothill High now educates as many as 2,300 students.

The school has recently been approved for grants to build more classrooms, upgrades to the computer suites and available technologies, and more sports fields to accommodate the rise of the school’s great athletics and football team.

A wide range of sports are played and taught at Foothill. During the fall season football, tennis, volleyball and water polo are the go to activities for the students and wannabe sports stars. The school even holds golf classes and cheerleading for the girls.

The spring is also the time when the students can practice their golf, baseball, softball, swimming, diving, tennis and volleyball activities, as all take place in the curriculum, as well as basketball, wrestling and cheerleading.

Foothill High Sports

Foothill High School takes its sport and athletics criteria very seriously and sports meetings with the athletes and their parents are mandatory. Foothill forms part of the EBAL (East Bay Athletic League) and is in regular competition with other high schools such as San Ramon Valley, De La Salle, Monte Vista, Amador Valley and Granada, among others.

The staff at Foothill provide their students with numerous academic and service-based group teachings involving multicultural activities and athletic programs to seek out the very best in its pupils.

Foothill strives to reach out and seek the very best out of its students and distinguished awards have been awarded to the school over the recent years. As a result of the high standards demanded from students, this school regularly sees above average scores in standard testing, high school exit examinations and Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs). These results include above average scoring when compared to others in the district, the state and the country.

East Bay Schools

Foothill High also instills discipline, compassion, respect, independence and developing personal character traits. In fact, the school has earmarked four key principles of self-development to bring out the very best in its students.

The mission statement at the school includes teaching students to be pro-active citizens, show concern for others, strengthening personal character and utilizing essential skills in today’s and tomorrow’s situations.

The Tri Valley is proud of their Foothill High reputation and devotion to its students. If you are thinking of moving to the East Bay or Tri Valley area, Foothills High School may be one of the best options for your family.

A little history of beautiful Walnut Creek California


There are few cities in the world with such a wonderfully poetic sounding name as California’s own Walnut Creek. Located just a 20 minute drive from Oakland and near to San Francisco Bay Area, it is a popular center for visitors to other nearby cities of Oakland and San Francisco and serves as a hub of lively, vibrant and charming city life.

Many of the buildings in Walnut Creek are well over 100 years old and the added charm of history has become a pull to home owners and tourists alike. There are several new builds in the downtown area too where retail shopping malls, cinemas, theatres, sports centers and charming restaurants add to the charm of the city.

The history of Walnut Creek is also filled with a sort of romancing and colourful past: It was the Indians from Bay Miwok that dominated the area where the city lies today. Later, four Mexican grants for release of land, originally territory owned by Juana Sanchez de Pacheco, was given over in a series of deeds in the mid-19th century.

American settlers later came along and the community first got its name with the completion of the post office in – what was then Nut Creek – and was formerly named the community of Walnut Creek.

The Californian Walnut tree grows throughout the valleys and creeks of the surrounding countryside, hence the name given to this community over a century and a half ago. The city became larger when the railroad system from the south was finally built in 1892. Walnut Creek became part of Contra Costa County as recently as 1914.

Walnut Creek Living

Walnut Creek is well known across California as the city that panders to the cycling community. There are hundreds of bike trails and the Costa Contra Canal Trail is an excellent, scenic bike route running from east to west for the most part.

Walnut Creek is also home to several art galleries, exhibitions, outstanding shopping centers and the Boundary Oak Golf Course. There are a couple of museums in the city that are well worth the visit too. The Lindsey Wildlife Museum and the Shade Lands Ranch Museum are large exhibition centers, which can take most of the day to simply walk around.

However, it is the open space that makes this city so attractive with its bike trails at Lime and Shell Ridge and plenty of outstanding hiking trails, such as the Fossil Hill Way. This open space and small town feel (compared to the major East Bay Cities), is what attracts many families and home buyers. It’s short commute to the city and it’s great school system also is a plus.

Contact Liz and Deanna for more information on living in Walnut Creek California.

The Award Winning Ken Mercer Sports Park in Pleasanton California

Pleasanton Sports Park

The Ken Mercer Sports Park is an award winning activity center in the heart of Pleasanton with sports facilities for all ages and all skill levels to keep the entire community fit, healthy and active. Several sports take place here including many amenities like baseball diamonds, soccer pitches, basketball courts, bocce, volleyball, handball, football and even skateboarding.

Here you’ll be able to find and join a number of sports leagues, programs and affiliations where being active, enjoying sports and getting to know your neighbours happens daily. The men’s basketball league runs from fall season right through until the end of spring. There are separate leagues for novices and intermediate teams and you only need six players to register a team. You can play – or even just come along and watch some great slam dunking on Wednesday and Thursday nights between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Sports in Pleasanton California

Volleyball is also a popular sport here to keep adults healthy and active and the leagues run at the same time as the basketball league does. Games take place on Monday nights from 7 p.m. and you’ll see three classes here of novice, intermediate and advanced.

Pleasanton Sports Center Map

The Ken Mercer Sports Center also caters to the younger generation by holding summer camps and sports including archery, baseball, cheerleader classes, volleyball and softball.

The youth programs are open to all ages and all skill sets. The recreational youth basketball program runs right through the summer and offers plenty to do for the children into the school summer break.

Even the very young are catered to at the sports center with a gingerbread pre-school club where the very little ones can enjoy crèche facilities and recreational games.

Tennis courts in Pleasanton

No sports center can be complete without tennis courts – tennis is a passion among Californians and just across the street from Ken Mercer Sports Park, is the Pleasanton Tennis Complex. The complex includes 10 professional courts and even runs a special summer school camp so kids can get prepared for a possible future at Flushing Meadows, Melbourne or Wimbledon.

The Ken Mercer Sports Park truly is an award-winning place for the entire family and located centrally, just north of downtown Pleasanton.


The New Pleasanton School District’s Calendar 2016/2017

Here is the New Pleasanton Unified School District Instructional Calendar for the 2016/2017 school year.

Below, the calendar breaks down by month, the Instructional days and Holidays, as well as Conference days, Teacher work days and Finals.


Pleasanton CA School Calendar

Pleasanton Unified School Calendar

This revision was approved on 02/10/2016