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Touring & Tasting Magazine

Wente Vineyards: Northern California Family-Owned Winery 128 Years Strong

May. 4th, 2011 | Comments 0 | Make a Comment   
Last year marked the 127th anniversary of Wente Vineyards. Founded in 1883 by German immigrant Carl Heinrich Wente, Wente Vineyards is still owned and operated by fourth- and fifth-generation descendants, making it the oldest continuously operated family-owned winery in California.

Wente Vineyards has become a remarkable wine legacy, and currently exports to more than 50 countries. Its estate-grown wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. The Nth Degree wines include Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir.

Located near San Francisco, the 3,000 acres of sustainably farmed estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley; San Francisco Bay; and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations are truly a family affair. Fourth- and fifth-generation Wente family winegrowers and winemakers manage the vineyards, winemaking operations, and oversee the lifestyle businesses, including the restaurant, concert series, and golf course. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards uses locally grown organic ingredients sourced within a 100-mile radius as much as possible.

Here, before or after a bit of wine tasting, guests gather to sample delectable wine-country cuisine prepared with a focus on fresh, local, and sustainably sourced items. The Restaurant’s accolades include the Wine Enthusiast Award of Distinction in 2008 and the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence in 2009.

For the past 25 summers, The Concerts at Wente Vineyards have drawn world-class performers, including The Fray and Willie Nelson, to this unique Northern California outdoor amphitheater setting. Savvy concert-goers select "Best in House" tickets, which include a four-course meal at The Restaurant before enjoying the performance from front-row seats. Others opt for the equally sumptuous outdoor buffet prepared by Wente Vineyards Catering.

Golf enthusiasts can head for The Course at Wente Vineyards to play an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Greg Norman. The Course was recently designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Family, food, entertainment, and, of course, the wines beckon wine tourers to experience the legacy that is Wente Vineyards.

WHAT TO BUY:
  • ’09 Riva Ranch Chardonnay Ripe pear, guava, subtle oak, vanilla, honey, graham $19.99
  • ‘08 Reliz Creek Pinot Noir Bright cherry, earth, hints of vanilla $24.99
  • ’08 Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Cherry, plum, vanilla, spice, toasted oak $14.99
  • ’08 Small Lot Viognier Pineapple, tropical fruit, hints of vanilla, spice $21.99

    CONTACT:
    Wente Vineyards
    5565 Tesla Rd.
    Livermore, CA 94550
    925.456.2300
    wentevineyards.com

    TASTING
    5565 Tesla Rd.
    Livermore, CA 94550
    Estate Tasting Room Open Daily 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
    5050 Arroyo Rd.
    Livermore, CA 94550
    Vineyard Tasting Room Open Daily 11 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

    SPECIAL NOTES: Private tasting tours, wine club events, weddings and receptions.
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