Winemaking & Viticulture
Technology meets tradition at the Wente Vineyards winery. This fusion of old and new is a Wente family legacy, from Third Generation Winemaker Karl L. Wente’s adoption of stainless steel fermentation in the 1960s, to present-day experimentation with yeasts and unique red wine press designs. The willingness to innovate and experiment has been a hallmark of the Wente family operations since they introduced the first varietally labeled Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay in the 1930s.
For five generations, the Wente family has been dedicated to the art of winemaking and to the philosophy that the quality of a wine originates in the vineyard. Today, Fifth Generation Winemaker Karl D. Wente carries on the family winemaking tradition. “There is no separation between what happens out in our vineyards and what takes place in the winery,” says Karl. “We all recognize that our first priority is growing grapes that have the potential to become excellent wines. We then tailor our methods and techniques in the winery to preserve the delicate flavors in the fruit and to elevate an expression of the vineyard terroir.”
Fifth Generation Winegrower, Karl D. Wente represents a new breed of winemaker. Well educated; he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford and two Masters degrees from UC Davis, and well trained; he honed his skills at The Peter Michael Winery in Sonoma, and at Brown Brothers winery in Australia, Karl maintains the traditional hands-on approach of previous generations of Wente family winemakers. “Winemaking is in my blood and this is far more than just an opportunity. The resources at my hands are a privilege to be shared.”
Since 1883, five generations of the Wente family have planted, grown and harvested fruit from their Estate vineyards. More than a century of committed stewardship of the land has led to the development of the Wente family’s Farming for the Future program. Created with the health and well-being of its employees, the local community and the planet in mind, Farming for the Futureis a system of practices that enhances the vitality of the soils, creates a balanced, sustainable ecology, minimizes water use and reduces non-organic wastes.
Today, it is the fourth and fifth generations who lead the way in protecting the legacy and ecological health of the family’s 3,000 acres of Estate vineyards. Farming for the Future extends throughout the organization, including three Estate wineries The Course at Wente Vineyards, The Restaurant, The Concerts, and every other aspect of the operation.
In 2010, as a testimony to what has been a long-held tenet of the country’s oldest continuously owned and operated family winery, Wente Family Estates received certification for its sustainability with respect to vineyard, winery and company practices with the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing designation.
For more information on our Sustainable practices, click here