Fifth Generation Winegrower & President of the Wente Foundation Board
In 2000, Christine Wente became the first member of the fifth generation to join the family business (her brother Karl Wente, Fifth Generation Winemaker, joined in 2002), bringing new perspectives to the country’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. She is an active spokesperson for the company, and a member of the Board of Directors.
“I am thrilled to be building on a tradition that has spanned five generations. We all work especially hard because we are contributing to each other’s success and making an impact for previous and future generations. I think my family’s dedication to the business is what creates the welcoming ambiance that our guests enjoy when visiting our properties,” says Christine.
From 2000 to 2007, Christine focused on selling and marketing her family’s wines in the United States and international markets with a sabbatical from 2002 to 2004 to attend Stanford University’s prestigious Graduate School of Business, from which she received her MBA. As Senior Vice-President of Hospitality from 2008 through 2010, Christine oversaw the operations and marketing of the family's thriving lifestyle business. With her passion for wine and food and her dedication to creating world-class guest experiences, Christine is a dynamic spokesperson for the Livermore Valley.
In 2012, Christine helped establish The Wente Foundation for Arts Education, a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising money to support arts education programs in the Livermore Valley and throughout the United States. Christine is President of The Wente Foundation Board, and she serves on the Board of the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Foundation, planning the annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction. In addition, she is on the Board of the Piedmont Education Foundation, Wine Institute and Innovation Tri-Valley.
In the past, she has served on the Boards of the Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce (2007 to 2012), Highlands Preschool (2011 to 2013), the Las Positas College Foundation (2008 to 2012), and The Cancer League, Inc. (2010 to 2012), a non-profit organization that raises funds for cancer research and patient care. In recognition for her contributions to the community, including advocacy for East Bay public schools, she received a “Best of the Best” award from Las Positas College in 2011.
“It is important to me to give back to our local community in the Livermore Valley, because it is an integral part of Wente Vineyards and our family. I believe that we have the ability to improve our community through leadership, contributions, and involvement in local organizations,” says Christine.
Prior to joining Wente Vineyards, Christine gained additional wine industry experience by working in off-premise sales and later in international marketing for the Canadian market at the E. & J. Gallo Winery. Then she worked in on-premise key account sales, followed by a position on the brand marketing team for Gallo of Sonoma.
In addition to her MBA from Stanford University, Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University. She also has a certificate in cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, has studied sensory evaluation of wine and olive oil at U.C. Davis, and food writing through UC Berkeley’s Extension Program.
“In my spare time, I love to entertain and be with my friends and family. I am fortunate to be in a role that is all about hospitality, so I am able to bring my personal experiences to work and my professional experiences home. I think that is why I view every event that we host as a company as if I am hosting it personally, in my home,” says Christine.
Christine resides with her husband, Roland, and their young son and daughter in the East Bay.