Last year marked the 125th anniversary of Wente Vineyards . It's a remarkable testament to perseverance that German immigrant Carl Heinrich Wente founded a wine legacy in 1883 that is still owned and operated by fourth- and fifth-generation descendants. The oldest continuously operated family-owned winery in California, Wente Vineyards exports to more than 50 countries. The 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 and winemaking operations and oversee the lifestyle businesses including the restaurant, concert series, and golf course. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, which opened in 1986, uses locally grown organic ingredients. 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.
For the past 22 summers, The Concerts at Wente Vineyards has drawn world-class performers including The Temptations, Bonnie Raitt, 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 course designed by Greg Norman. The Course leads them through the scenic vineyards and rolling hills of Livermore Valley.
Family, food, entertainment, and, of course, the wines, beckon tourers to experience the legacy that is Wente Vineyards.
What to buy:
'07 Riva Ranch Chardonnay Ripe apple, pear, guava, subtle oak, vanilla, butterscotch $19.99
'06 Sandstone Merlot Blackberry and spice, hints of licorice, tobacco $14.99
'06 Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Bright cherry, vanilla, hint of cinnamon, toasted oak $14.99
'07 Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc Crisp citrus, gooseberry, guava, pineapple, honeydew melon $12.99
925.456.2300; Fax: 925.456.2301
Estate Tasting Room
5565 Tesla Rd., Livermore, CA 94550
Tasting Room Open Daily 11-4:30
Vineyard Tasting Room
5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, CA 94550
Tasting Room Open Daily 11-6:30
Directions can be found on the website or by calling the winery.