Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in America. Today the estate is comprised of vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco and Arroyo Seco appellations and is operated by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family.5th Generation winegrower Karl D. Wente has continued the family’s legacy with the Wente clone by using it to produce four different styles of Chardonnay: Morning Fog Chardonnay, Single Vineyard Riva Ranch Chardonnay, Small Lot Eric’s Chardonnay and Nth Degree Chardonnay.
California’s First Family of Chardonnay. Today 80% of all California Chardonnay stems from the Wente clone
The Wente Estate is comprised of vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco and Arroyo Seco – each with its own special growing conditions. The Livermore Valley, just twenty miles east of San Francisco Bay, benefits from a unique marine climate that is influenced by the Bay and Pacific Ocean. Arroyo Seco, Monterey, is a cooler region with an extended growing season which enables the grapes to retain their natural acidity and intense varietal character. Soils replete with shale and limestone deposits provide excellent drainage and minerals, both of which impart significant flavour components and balance to the wines. Wente produce a number of different wines from their vineyards in these appellations.
Wente Estate Grown wines are named after the unique growing conditions of the estate vineyards from which they are sourced. These wines include Morning Fog Chardonnay, Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc, Sandstone Merlot, Riverbank Riesling and Beyer Ranch Zinfandel. Single vineyard wines are grown in specific vineyard blocks which are named after the pioneers who were closely involved in the history of Wente’s winemaking tradition. They include Riva Ranch Chardonnay, Riva Ranch Pinot Noir and Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Nth Degree is a selection of handcrafted, limited production wines with a focus on small lots that reflect individual terroirs. To achieve this, fifth generation winegrower Karl D. Wente has selected varietals that have a strong association with the Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco appellations, and only the best wines are selected, regardless of vintage or variety.
Murrieta’s Well was originally propagated by Louis Mel in 1884 with vineyard cuttings from Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Margaux. During the same year, he built a gravity-flow winery into the hillside adjacent to the property’s artesian well. In 1933, Ernest Wente purchased the estate from Mel and in 1990, fourth generation Philip Wente and winemaker Sergio Traverso revived the historic estate. Today Murrieta’s Well specialises in producing terroir driven, limited production blends such as The Whip - an approachable blend of aromatic white grapes – and
The Spur - a true Livermore Valley red blend.
Last but not least, the Hayes Ranch range of wines are named after the Hayes, a true California ranching family whose livelihood depended on the land. Today the Wente winemaking team seeks to preserve the Hayes family tradition by crafting bright, delicious wines from premier California vineyards.