Fourth Generation Winegrower & Co-Founder of Murrieta’s Well
Philip is strongly committed to preserving and protecting the family’s vineyards through the 'Farming for the Future' program dedicated to sustainable agriculture. This program is a system of practices that enhances the vitality of the soil, creating a harmony of sustainable ecology, minimal water use and reducing non-organic waste, all part of the family’s ongoing focus on sustainability.
“Our vineyards are our heritage. We want to produce exceptional wines with the least environmental impact, and create vineyards that will endure and thrive,” Philip explains.
Philip is a leading advocate for the Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco as winegrowing regions and is actively involved in land use and planning issues in the Livermore Valley. In 1986, Philip spearheaded the South Livermore Valley Planning Process that created a General Plan Amendment adopted in 1993. One of the many tools developed during this planning progress was the formation of the Tri-Valley Conservancy, an innovative agricultural land trust that harmonizes real estate development and agricultural land preservation in Alameda County, California. These initiatives were so successful that they are being used as a model in many other areas of the country.
“I view it as a very important responsibility of my family to continue enhancing the development and branding of the appellations of the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey, ultimately positioning them among the most remembered and renowned appellations in California,” Philip explains.
In 1990, Philip teamed up with winemaker Sergio Traverso to revive the historic winery, Murrieta's Well focusing on red and white blended wines produced from the sustainably farmed estate vineyards.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Ernest Wente, Philip pursued his love of viticulture at University of California at Davis. He graduated in 1975 with a degree in agricultural science and management, specializing in viticulture and enology. In recognition of his commitment to viticulture, Philip was elected to the Board of the Wine Institute in 1977, served as chairman in 1995, and continues as an ex-officio officer to the present time, a further tribute to his commitment to the stewardship of the California Wine Industry.
Philip lives with his wife, Julie, and their daughters in the Livermore Valley home built by his grandfather early in the last century.