Wente Vineyards Review
Address: 5565 Tesla Rd. Livermore,California 94550.
Phone Number: 925-456-2305
Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00
Region: Livermore Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Sherrie Perkovich
Review Date: 7/30/2015
Reviewer: Sherrie Perkovich
The rich history of wine making in Livermore can be dated back as far as the 1760s when Spanish missionaries first planted grapes to provide wine for church services, much like in the wine regions of Sonoma and Napa to the north. Robert Livermore planted the first commercial vines in the 1840s. Then family winemakers James Concannon, Charles Wetmore and Carl H. Wente saw the areas potential and likeness to rocky French soils, and founded their wineries in the early 1880s.
Well before the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 that put Napa Valley on the map, Livermore Valley captured Americas first international grand prize medal for wine with Charles Wetmores Cresta Blanca at the 1889 Paris Exposition. But that was only the beginning. Livermore Valley wineries were the first to make varietal-bottled Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Petite Sirah.
Wentes history is just as rich as the soil. Carl Wente purchased 48 acres of vineyard in 1883 and built a winery in the Livermore Valley. Wente produced the nations first varietal-labeled Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. And today nearly 80% of all Chardonnay planted in California is derived from the Wente Clone.
The Winery:  Wente has two locations, both in Livermore and not too far away from each other. At the Estate Tasting Room, your experience will be similar to experiences at other wine tasting rooms with a bar to stand at while you complete your tasting. Here you will have the opportunity to taste Wentes smaller lot wines that are crafted by Karl Wente, 5th generation winemaker. If you are short on time and/or appreciate smaller lot wines, this could be a good tasting for you.
The second tasting location, the Vineyard Tasting Room, includes a Greg Norman golf course, an award winning restaurant, a tasting room, a unique outdoor table top concert venue, an organic garden and sandstone caves.
Whole estate tours are also available daily that include both Wente locations plus Murrietas Well, but you must make reservations in advance. The fee for the tour is $50 per person (includes your tasting at each location). Allow three hours for this experience. Check out the Wente website for more information on all tours and tasting experiences offered.
The Wines:  Wentes wine labels include: Vineyard Selection, Heritage Block, Small Lot Wines, and Nth Degree Wines. They also produce Muriettas Well and Tamas Estates. With the rich history that our country has with the Wente Clone Chardonnay, dont leave before trying a side-by-side comparison of several.
Tasting recommendations: Morning Fog Chardonnay, Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc (crisp, light, melon, grapefruit), Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon, Reliz Creek Pinot Noir (medium body, earth spice, like French Burgundy), Murrietas Well Red Meritage, Tamas Double Decker Red.