Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wente Named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast

This came down the PR wire the other day. Congratulations to Wente Family Estates, they've a long heritage behind them and should be very proud of this achievement. In my near-decade selling wine, Wente has consistently been a customer favorite.

Press Release Below:
Wente Family Estates Named American Winery of the Year
by Wine Enthusiast Magazine

"November 7, 2011 - Livermore, CA - Carolyn Wente, CEO and Fourth Generation Winegrower of America’s oldest continuously owned and operated winery, is pleased to announce that her family business has received the 2011 American Winery of the Year award from Wine Enthusiast magazine. Wente Family Estates is comprised of Wente Vineyards, Murrieta’s Well and Tamás Estates as well as entwine, a partnership between The Food Network and Wente Vineyards. Known as the Wine Star Awards for the last 11 years, the magazine honors international wine personalities who have had great influence on the world of wine.

Wente Family Estates joins an esteemed group of winners this year including Restaurateur of the Year Michael Mina, Winemaker of the Year Bob Cabral of Williams Selyem, and Georg & Maximilian Riedel as Generations of Innovation, among others. Upon learning of the news, CEO Carolyn Wente stated, “This is really such a wonderful acknowledgement and recognition for the five generations of my family who have remained committed to the wine business. We all love what we do and my two brothers Eric and Phil and my niece and nephew Christine and Karl are individually helping to build our company into a strong, relevant and quality driven winery in the 21st century. We have built on the foundation laid by my great grandfather, Carl Wente, who came to this country as an immigrant in the late 19th century, to the Livermore Valley in 1883.”

This award comes at an auspicious time for the winery as 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of Chardonnay coming to America. In 1912, Ernest Wente, son of founder Carl Wente, brought Chardonnay cuttings from Montpelier, France to California. His plantings and experimentation with the Chardonnay clone began a chapter in California wine history that continues today. Post Prohibition, Chardonnay plantings encompassed roughly 100 acres in California, and today nearly 100,000 acres are planted to Chardonnay and it is the top selling varietal in the country. Over 75% of the Chardonnay planted in California is derived from the Wente clone, making the Wente family integral in the development of wine culture for Americans.

As one of the top 30 wine companies in America several years running, Wente Family Estates has established itself as a unique company given that it is family-owned, and all of its fruit is estate grown and sustainably farmed. Due to the vision of CEO Carolyn Wente, the winery was also among the first to develop a wine country destination program when 25 years ago, Carolyn launched both an onsite fine dining restaurant, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, as well as the renowned Concerts at Wente Vineyards. In 1998, the winery opened the Course at Wente Vineyards on property, an 18-hole championship course designed by Greg Norman. Blazing a trail that many would follow, Wente Vineyards made wine country more than just a casual stop by a tasting room to an entire wine country experience.

In 2008, on the occasion of their 125th anniversary, the Culinary Institute of America inducted Wente Vineyards’ founder Carl Heinrich Wente into the “Vintners Hall of Fame” as a “Pioneer.” In 2010, the winery was named both Winery of the Year by the California Travel Industry Association and received the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2010 California State Fair. Several generations of sustainability efforts were also recognized when Wente Family Estates became among the first wineries to attain Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status for its business and winemaking practices in 2010. Also in 2010, the Course at Wente Vineyards became a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by the Audubon International Program, recognized for its commitment to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property as part of its holistic sustainability mandate.

With the Winery of the Year Award, Wente Family Estates is recognized in good company in the Winery of the Year category with previous recipients J. Lohr, Trinchero Family Estates and Concannon. The winners will be announced in the December 15th issue of Wine Enthusiast and a private ceremony honoring the awardees will be held at the New York Public Library on January 30, 2012.

About Wente Vineyards
Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is the country's oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. Today, Wente Vineyards is led by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family. More than 128 years of committed stewardship to the land led to the development in the 1990s of Wente Vineyards’ Farming for the Future program, a system of sustainable viticultural practices designed to produce the best quality wines with the least environmental impact. This philosophy extends to all aspects of winery operations, where energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and social responsibility are all integral to the culture.

Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations, featuring wine tasting, fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit www.wentevineyards.com."


Congratulations again to Wente and the people there.

Beau Carufel

No comments:

Post a Comment