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Sommelier's Sojourn to Wente Vineyards

SAM_1836On a recent wine trip to California, my travel plans included visiting Livermore Valley which is located about one hour south of Napa Valley and 30 miles southeast of San Francisco. Livermore Valley is an AVA (Approved Viticultural Area), which is one of California’s oldest wine districts. This AVA is 15 miles long and 10 miles wide.

There are many wineries in Livermore Valley, but one of the most popular is Wente Vineyards. Wente also boasts a wonderful restaurant located at the entrance to their beautiful Greg Norman PGA golf course. If you play golf on this magnificent course, and your game includes some golf shots with some slice, you’ll find yourself searching for your ball in the vineyards as there are vines planted throughout the course.

SAM_1948Wente is the oldest family run winery in California-- founded 125 years ago--and is now run by 5th generation (and soon to be 6th generations) .The Wente family owns over 3,000 acres and uses only estate grown fruit, (meaning vine to bottle, owner grown, produced and bottled).

Riva Ranch is the name of the family’s vineyard in Arroyo Seco in Monterey where they have been growing Chardonnay since the 1960s. Wente Vineyards was the first California winery to produce a wine labeled as Chardonnay in 1936. Today, many of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California are planted with the Wente clone.

Wente-RivaRanch-chard-05The Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay is a rich, golden color, with aromas of ripe apple, vanilla butter and pear. Luscious mouth flavors of vanilla, butterscotch and finishes long and smooth. We offer this wine by the glass and by the bottle, and it is also poured with the sweet potato ravioli on our fabulous Tasting Menu.
$9.95 glass- 6 oz or $14.75 9 oz (glass and a half) $39.00 bottle

The Wente Reliz Creek Pinot Noir is named after the creek that runs through the estate vineyards “Reliz” Creek. All the fruit is handpicked as well as hand sorted. Beautiful aromas and flavors of cherry, strawberry, vanilla, toasted oak, earth and cigar box. Delicate wine with delicate tannins followed by a soft fruity finish.
$11.25 glass- 6 oz or $16.75 9 oz (glass and a half) $45.00 bottle
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Guest Thursday, July 31 2014