Wente Vineyards is a winery in Livermore, California, and is "the oldest continuously operating, family-owned winery in the United States." Wente Estate is registered as California Historical Landmark #957.
The winery was founded by Carl Wente in 1883 on 47 acres of land. After training in wines while working for Charles Krug of Napa Valley, Wente bought a few vineyards and land of excellent soil. In 1934, his sons, Ernest and Herman, launched the first California winery label, Sauvignon Blanc. In 1936, Chardonnay was first varietally named. The efforts of the Wente family, including innovative nighttime mechanical harvesting and a leader in sustainable wine-growing practices, have helped to develop the Livermore Valley as one of California's leading wine-growing regions. Since then it has risen to over 2,000 acres (8 km2) plus an additional 700 acres (3 km2) in Arroyo Seco.
In 1912, the second generation of Ernest Wente convinced his father and founder, C.H. Wente went to the Livermore Valley to import Chardonnay cuttings from the vine nursery at the University of Montpellier France and handpicked the best of the best vines. Today, over 80 percent of all Chardonnay in California comes from the Wente Clone. In viticulture, the word "clone" refers to vines which come from a single plant by cutting or bud; in principle, each vine which grows on a clone is genetically identical to the original vine.
Today, the 5th generation winegrower Karl D. Wente continues the Wente Clone through Chardonnay's family history with four different styles: Morning Fog Chardonnay, Single Vineyard Riva Ranch Chardonnay, Small Lot Eric Chardonnay and Nth Degree Chardonnay.
Wente Vineyards also offers a golf course, tasting rooms, a catering service and a gourmet restaurant all set in the heart of the vineyards. Over the summer, they hold Concerts in the Vineyard, featuring musicians from classics such as The Doobie Brothers and Frankie Valli, comedians such as George Carlin and jazz artists such as Diana Krall, as well as new pop artists such as The Band Perry. The catering service also offers food for these concerts for people to consume while watching the show.
The Wente Vineyard Tasting Lounge, located on Arroyo Lane, is nestled in the rolling hills of the Livermore Valley on a historic landmark. They deliver a range of Certified organic estate wines produced in an idyllic environment in the wine country. Make time to join them on the patio and soak up the beauty of the Livermore Valley with a bottle of wine in your lap.
Reservations can be made to Cellar Move for 90 minutes. They are currently selling bottles of wine to be complimented by a seasonal board or a sampling flight of four limited edition wines. All the tasting experience is outside on their patio.
This amazing winery is located near the following amazing must-see wineries in Livermore, California:
- Retzlaff Vineyards
- Las Positas Vineyards
- Nottingham Cellars - Livermore Winery and Wine Tasting
- Concannon Vineyard
- Wood Family Vineyards
- Dante Robere Vineyards
- Page Mill Winery
- Darcie Kent Vineyards
All of these wonderful wineries are located just a short distance from our location, conveniently located just down the freeway at 1261 Locust St, Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!