Wente Vineyards is one of oldest continuously family-owned and operated wineries in California, and this last harvest was their 129th vintage of making estate-grown wines.
C.H. Wente settled in the Livermore region in 1883 and founded the winery on 48 acres; the Wente family now owns more than 5,000 acres in the Livermore and Arroyo Seco appellations.
C.H. Wente was not only responsible for bringing the Chardonnay clone to California from France, but Wente Vineyards was also the first to produce Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion in California. Today, many of the great California wine producers are using the Wente Chardonnay clone in their vineyards. Wente Vineyards also produces fine varietal red wines, in addition to their well-known whites.
The 2008 Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon is an estate-grown wine from the southern region of the Livermore Valley. The vineyard is 100 percent sustainably farmed and is ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is aged for 14 months in American and French oak barrels. It’s deep red in color with mouth-filling flavors of black cherry and plum, and its rich, yet approachable tannins provide a long, smooth finish. It retails for $14.99.
The 2009 Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay, also an estate-grown wine from the Livermore Valley, is aged for seven months in oak barrels and then aged on the lees for another seven months in stainless steel. It has aromas and flavors of apple and tropical fruits, well-balanced with oak overtones that deliver a lingering, refreshing finish. It also retails for $14.99.
Wente wines are available at Acme Fresh Foods, Buehler’s Fresh Markets, Giant Eagle, Mustard Seed, West Point Market, Wine Reserve of Medina, Papa Joe’s and better wine retailers throughout Northeast Ohio.
On a sidenote: Karl Wente — a fifth-generation winemaker who’s producing outstanding estate wines — will be the guest winemaker in June at the Akron Wine Auction, a fundraiser for the Akron Art Museum.