Bent Creek Winery - The Story

Nestled in the rolling hills southeast of Livermore, Bent Creek is ideally situated. Tucked against an oak-dotted ridge and surrounded by vineyard, the winery enjoys spectacular views of the valley.

When Pat and Tom Heineman purchased the property in 1980, opening a winery was not in their plans. They wanted to own some land “out in the country”. They chose the location for its beauty and feeling of serenity. As educators in the Livermore school district they met the couple who would later become their partners in the winery, Carol and Rich Howell. Pat and Carol were fellow elementary school principals in Livermore. Tom was the director of curriculum and technology for the district. Rich was a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The two couples shared many common interests including the enjoyment of good wine.

During the 1990’s when Wente Winery planted vineyards adjacent to the Heineman’s property, Pat and Tom were impressed with their beauty. By 1997, with Wente's assistance, they planted a Syrah vineyard on their land. The vineyard thrived and now produces high quality grapes.

After tasting the wine made by other winemakers from their grapes, the four friends considered the possibility of opening a small winery. They took enology classes at UC Davis together, and established Bent Creek Winery in 2002. Although they have divided some of the winery responsibilities, they all work together on every aspect of wine production from caring for the vines, to pressing the grapes to greeting visitors in the tasting room. Their goal is to craft small lots of complex wine primarily from the grapes grown in the Heineman’s vineyard and other Livermore Valley vineyards.

Bent Creek Winery is the result of four friends’ interest in wines, wine growing and wine making. We believe that we can offer visitors to our winery a unique experience. Visitors can enjoy quality wines in a serene vineyard setting.