John Evan Cellars and Big White House Winery specialize in handcrafted luxury wines of rare quality served in an informal tasting room that encourages education in a fun environment. Barrel tasting is available nearly every weekend as part of your tasting experience. Most weekends John Evan, John the Elder and Stephanie are pouring in the tasting room with a host of knowledgeable volunteers. Wine club members and their guests receive free complimentary tasting at both locations.
We host two labels at our winery. Big White House is the traditional label started by John the Elder in 1992 as a home winemaker at (you guessed it) the Big White House.
In 2004, in recognition of six years of exceptional winemaking, John Evan Marion, launched his own label, aptly named, John Evan on his 21st birthday. This year John Evan celebrated his tenth harvest as a winemaker and is now the head winemaker for both labels. Along with his Dad; Grandmother, Eva; and Tasting Room Manager, Stephanie, John Evan co-owns the enterprise. His sister, Laura Marion is the winery artist (and an actor in L.A.) providing all of John Evan’s labels as original oil paintings. His mom (Diana) is a local artist and teacher and provides some of the Big White House label art.
John Evan Cellars and Big White House Winery serve at two locations. Our Greenville Road Winery and main Tasting Room hosts our barrel room with Laura’s wine label art on display and our Blacksmith Square Tasting Room in downtown Livermore has the tasting room within an art studio showing many of Laura’s works.
We began winemaking as a way to learn more about wine and we love to share what we’ve learned with you. In addition to living in a premier winemaking region of California, the Marions also lived in France for a year. The notion of winemaking as artistry is alive at Big White House and John Evan. Our wine is literally hand crafted with the entire process customized for each varietal’s and each vintage’s unique qualities. We begin in the vineyard, working with our favorite short list of premium growers. At the winery, grapes are gently de-stemmed and fermented in the winery (reds) or in the adjacent cold box (whites). We have two small basket presses for pressing the fermented wine from its skins. All of our wines are barrel aged. We taste the barrels in the winery regularly to monitor their aging progress. This level of individual attention to each lot and each barrel distinguishes our wines from those of larger production facilities where wine is made by formulae. ‘No wine before its time’ is a cliché, but we take it seriously, sometimes waiting five years or longer to release especially big, high tannin reds. Though the artistry element is important, both John the Elder and John Evan have educational backgrounds in chemistry and materials science.
Our tasting room is set up so that you have a great wine tasting experience but also so that you can take advantage of the winemakers knowledge during the tasting. Most weekends we have several barrels available for barrel tasting (wine thieved straight from the barrel to your glass) and winemakers John Evan and John the Elder are typically available in the tasting room to chat about our winemaking philosophy, details of the process and guide you through the tasting. We’ve often heard that we provide the funnest and the best wine tasting experience in the Livermore Valley. (Oh, and check out the wine club release parties-our members say that they really like them).