Hot weather forces cancellation of Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KGO) -- Many people call it a late summer tradition in the Tri-Valley, but today, organizers of the Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration were forced to cancel this weekend's event because of the excessive heat impacting the Bay Area.

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"Even though we had shade and misters planned for the event, (it was) not necessarily enough with temperatures that are so oppressive, and potentially breaking records in the Bay Area," said Chris Chandler, executive director of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association.

The popular event, an annual gathering dating back 36 years, was to be held at Las Positas College. Chandler says more than 1,000 people were expected to attend.

Despite the heat, local wineries say they'll remain open for the Labor Day weekend with air-conditioned tasting rooms ready and able to serve those who come.

Elizabeth Jacobson, Garre Winery tasting room manager, says she's getting ready for multiple events on-site in the coming days, including an outdoor wedding ceremony. Staff members are prepared to adapt, if necessary, due to the high temperatures.

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"It kinda depends on what the people would like to have," says Jacobson. "If the bride and groom say, yes, it's way too hot for our guests, (it's) easily moveable, and we can transfer it right inside."

San Lorenzo resident, Rebekah Barragan, was looking forward to the region's annual harvest wine celebration, but understands why the decision was made to pull the plug.

"There's a lot of issues with being out in the heat," Barragan said. "People, they come out and drink, and they don't drink enough water and don't hydrate."

The weather is also playing a role in the all-important harvest. Steve Ziganti, co-owner and co-winemaker at Livermore's 3 Steves Winery says his team was up at 4am Friday picking grapes for this season's Pinot Grigio offering.

"This time of year with this kind of heat, we're going to pick at night," Ziganti said. "We don't want anybody to get a heat stroke or have problems, and we don't want the fruit hot."

Anyone who purchased tickets to the Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration will be automatically refunded in the upcoming week.

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