Just 30 miles east of Oakland, Livermore Valley is beginning to face the threat of urban sprawl from San Francisco. The first vines were planted here in the 1760s by Spanish Missionaries. Robert Livermore was the first to plant commercial vines in the 1840s, and was followed by C. H. Wente, James Concannon, and Charles Wetmore in the 1880s. The AVA is a hotspot for Sauvignon Blanc, which was first planted from cuttings from Château d'Yquem in 1869. It is home to 26 wineries and over 5,000 acres of vines.
Livermore Valley has an east-west orientation that allows coastal fog and marine breezes to come in from the San Francisco Bay to cool the valley's warm air. The valley is 15 miles long by 10 miles wide and is surrounded by coastal range mountains and foothills. The soil here is primarily gravel with excellent drainage.