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Wines & Winery Reviews
They have about 3,000 acres of sustainability farmed Estate vineyards, and they are certified sustainable. Wente Vineyards is about 45 minutes drive from San Francisco and 40 minutes drive from San Jose, in the historic Livermore Valley. They offer wine tastings, a fine dining restaurant with the newly acclaimed chef Mike Ward (formerly at Tyler Florence’s El Paseo in Mill Valley), and championship golf.
I got lucky to check our the one acre garden in the back. It was amazing to see everything they grow here fresh and organic. Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk has been with Wente Vineyards for almost 20 years. You can see their garden tips on their website here: Wente Vineyards Garden
We got to try at about eight wines, and these are our favorites:
– 2012 Small Lot Serenity – Syrah, Grenache, Counoise, and Graciano blend
– 2013 Small Lot Eric’s Chardonnay
– 2012 Small Lot GSM – The Syrah was harvested from the Hayes Ranch at our estate vineyard in the Livermore Valley. The Grenache was harvested from the Marina Ranch The Mourvedre was harvested from the Raboli Ranch.
– 2010 Small Lot Duetto – 50% of this blend comes from our Cabernet Sauvignon block in the Napa Valley, and 50% was grown in our Smith block in the Livermore Valley.
We also got lucky to meet the handsomely tall 5th generation
winemaker Karl Wente. He’s such a charming character. I personally have met other winemakers before Brad Buehler and Claude Bubba as well as vineyards manager Julio Covarrubias. Everyone was kind, shared their stories, and truly love what they do here and have been working for Wente for decades.
Did you know Wente Vineyards was the first family brought the Chardonnay grape to the U.S.? Their clone is now widely planted in California by other wineries.
They also planted just about every single varietal out there such as
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Counoise, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Viognier, Barbera, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Riesling, Orange Muscat, Muscat Canelli, and a few more. I have not tried some of this varietal before. However, that gives them the ability to blend the wines and be creative of what they do.
Another interesting point is that the winemaker Karl Wente doesn’t use just one type of oak barrel. He used French, American, Hungarian, and sometimes Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, the Czech Republic and Poland too.
The staff was knowledgeable and excellent. Wente Vineyards is a must stop if you plan to visit Livermore Wine Country. The wines are good, reasonable price point, and plenty of choices for you to choose.
Wente Vineyards Tasting Room
5050 Arroyo Road
Livermore, CA 94550
Estate Winery & Tasting Room
5565 Tesla Road
Livermore, CA 94550
by Manda Bear