Before it was a buzzword and before certifications, Wente Vineyards has been farming sustainably since its founding in 1883. The estate’s longevity can be directly traced to the Wente family’s multi-generational commitment to the land.
Wente Vineyards is a Certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CCSW). Fewer than ten percent of wineries hold both vineyard and winery certifications, and Wente Vineyards is proud to be counted among them. The certification is verified annually by a third party on over sixty vineyards and forty-one winery prerequisites. Year after year, Wente Vineyards must demonstrate continuous improvements and implement action plans for the following year’s initiatives.
Throughout its history, Wente Vineyards has remained such an instrumental leader in sustainable practices; the California Wine Institute looked to fourth-generation winegrowers Phil and Eric Wente to help draft the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices. The Code proved such a critical document that it continues to define today’s sustainability standards – including farming and winemaking practices that are as sensitive to the environment as they are responsive to the needs and interests of the local communities impacted by it.
Today, with the help of the forward-looking fifth generation, the family remains a leader in ethical practices and continues to push the envelope in defining how sustainability is measured. Wente Vineyards is proud to announce an important packaging refresh that puts its Sustainable Vineyard and Winery certification center-stage on all front labels while transitioning to lighter, more carbon-neutral glass for its bottles. This significant update was championed by the family’s fifth-generation winegrowers, whose forward-thinking approach to sustainability continues to push the envelope in defining how ethical practices are measured.
“Our commitment to responsible farming has always been one of the core pillars of Wente Vineyards,” said Niki Wente, Fifth-Generation Winegrower and Director of Vineyard Operations. “Proudly stating on the front label that we are a Certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery better communicates that priority to our Wente Vineyards’ consumers – an audience who has become increasingly engaged when it comes to ethically produced wines.”
One of the 2022 action plans that are now underway is the transition of Wente Vineyards bottles to lighter-weight glass, reducing fuel usage for transport, thus decreasing carbon emissions from the supplier to the consumer. In addition, a new bottling line is currently being installed to increase energy efficiencies and will be in operation by early 2023.
The winery draws from 3,000 acres of certified sustainable estate coastal vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding array of fine wines. The 2020 Morning Fog Chardonnay received 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, and it is widely recognized as a high-value Chardonnay. As reviewer Matt Kettmann notes,” There’s ample freshness to the palate, where jasmine and pear-juice flavors are sprinkled with lemon and melon elements.”
Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations, featuring wine tasting, food and wine experiences, and championship golf. Greg Norman designed the 18-hole championship course. Since its inception, the course has been awarded the “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” status. The certification is a commitment to the native ecosystems, water conservation, and wildlife and habitat preservation. The course is recertified every three years.
Located just 50 minutes east of San Francisco, Wente Vineyards Tasting Lounge is open to visitors from Thursday to Sunday for wine tastings and food and wine experiences. In addition, the Golf Course at Wente Vineyards and Grill restaurant are open seven days a week.