Local Event Premier Host
Please join us Thursday, June 15th, any time between 5:00-8:00pm, when we welcome Matt
Licklider of LIOCO Wine Company to our wine bar.
The focus of LIOCO has long been on balanced Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Carignan from sites with older vines, interesting soil, and heritage clones. Sometimes the hunt for Pinot Noir uncovers new treasures, like Grüner Veltliner!
LIOCO began as casual conversations between two friends, Matt Licklider, then National Sales Manager for North Berkeley Imports and Kevin O’Connor, then Wine Director at Spago-Beverly Hills. These discussions over the years, in the alley behind Spago, were both critical of the heavy-handed California wines of the day and curious about whether it was possible to make some local wines in a more restrained, European style. In 2005 the two founded LIOCO to pursue ‘wines that favored nuance over power'. Their focus was on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using Burgundy and the California wines of the 1970's as their model. Vineyard selection was (and is) paramount. Today, Matt and his wife Sara continue with this 'winemaking odyssey’ hunting down the best California terroirs in Sonoma, Mendocino, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, (and recently) Yolo counties.
While it may be a bit more commonplace today, at the time, LIOCO was one of the firs t producers to forgo oak barrel fermentation for stainless steel and embrace the concept of putting vineyard first and winemaking second. LIOCO wines have been a big hit from the very beginning--as much for their restraint and purity of fruit, as for their reasonable price points. Matt set the tone for many who followed, and we are proud to host this cool trailblazer and his great wines.