Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the country’s oldest continuously operated family-ownedwinery. Today the winery maintains its leadership role in California winegrowing under theownership and management of the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family, marketing theirwines in more than 70 countries. Blending traditional and innovative winemaking practices, thewinery draws from approximately 3,000 acres of certified sustainable estate vineyards in theLivermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create anoutstanding portfolio of wines.

The Wente family helped create the now-historic Livermore Valleywine growing region, just east of San Francisco Bay, and played a key role in the development ofMonterey as a premium winegrowing region.

 

 

Grape Varietals: No discussion of Wente Vineyards can begin without mentioning the WenteClone of Chardonnay, a result of cuttings being brought from Montpellier,France to Livermore in the 19th century. The Wente clone of Chardonnay isthe most widely planted in California today, and has been the leadingcomponent of great California Chardonnays ever since. But that is only asmall part of the story.

 

One of the top 30 winegrowers and producers inCalifornia, Wente Vineyards sustainably cultivates approximately 3,000 acresof vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, and Arroyo Seco,Monterey appellations, all within the larger Central Coast appellation. Thefamily grows 34 world class grape cultivars including Chardonnay, CabernetSauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling andZinfandel.

 

Small Lot Winery: As part of The Nth Degree and Small Lot programs, Fifth Generation Winemaker and Senior Vice President Karl Wente selects the vine rows and even the individual vines that show the most promise with fourth generation winegrower Philip Wente, who brings 40 years of estate farming experience and vintages to the fore. The vineyard blocks are meticulously farmed, handpicked, sorted and brought to the Small Lot Winery that Karl helped create within the family’s Estate Winery facility. In this micro-winery Karl oversees every step of the process. The grapes go into tiny one-ton fermenters, to vinify each lot separately with an intense focus on both quality and experimentation. The wines are then aged in different types of oak from several coopers. After aging, the best of the barrels are selected and blended to create small lots of exceptional wines.

 

The visitor center and tasting room in the Livermore Valley was established in the 1960s, and gave new meaning to wine marketing and hospitality. This concept, copied first in the Napa Valley and now throughout the world, has led to wine being perceived as more than just a beverage – it is part and parcel of a civilized and cultured lifestyle.

 

Wente Vineyards today hosts music concerts, food and wine experiences, golf tournaments at its own award-winning golf course, and charity events throughout the year. The Wente Foundation for Arts Education, a non-profit foundation, is dedicated to raising money to support arts education programs in the Livermore Valley and throughout the United States. The restaurant, only the third such restaurant in the USA, has won numerous awards for its presentation of food, wine and service.

 

The Wente family Estate is also home to a grove of century-old olive trees from which Wente Vineyards produces organic, certified, estate-grown Oro Fino extra virgin olive oil.

Wente Vineyards: (925)456-2300, www.wentevineyards.com