SAN FRANCISCO – March 2, 2018  Wente Vineyards, the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery has achieved another benchmark, as 2018 marks the celebrated company’s 135th year. Acknowledged for their industry-wide contributions to innovation, sustainability and hospitality, and known widely as California’s First Family of Chardonnay, Wente Vineyards is respected by both critics and consumers alike as a leader in crafting appealing, top quality, appellation-driven California wines.

The 135th year kicked off in January with an open letter to wine club members and fans from Carolyn Wente, Fourth Generation Winegrower & CEO, wherein she commemorated her family’s “love of the journey;” honoring the rich history of the 100% estate-grown vineyards while celebrating the Fifth Generation family vintners who are leading Wente Vineyards into the future.

Carolyn stated, “I am so very proud of the Fifth Generation of our family—Christine, Karl, Jordan and Niki—for choosing to join the business and driving to create some of the best quality wines that we’ve ever grown.  The innovations they have spearheaded have been invaluable, and include our renewed focus on the small lot farming program, not to mention countless technological upgrades in both vineyard and cellar, resulting in some of the best wines we’ve ever made at Wente Vineyards.  We also would not be here today without the hard work and commitment of our entire family of team members that, over the many years, continues to pour passion into every aspect of their work. We have loved every step of the journey that has led us to this 135th anniversary, and we look forward to the next 135 years continuing our restless pursuit of excellence, and bringing people together over our shared love of wine and the Livermore Valley lifestyle.”

In 1883, Carolyn’s great grandfather, C.H. Wente, purchased 47 acres in the Livermore Valley. He and the ensuing generations of his family are credited with establishing the Wente Clone of Chardonnay (over 80% of today’s California Chardonnays are derived from this Wente clone), releasing California’s first varietally labeled wines in 1933, pioneering the Arroyo Seco winegrowing region in Monterey in 1963, and being the first to offer the range of wine country experiences that have now come to define the estate’s special brand of hospitality, which include award-winning dining at The Restaurant Greg Norman-designed championship golf course,historic tasting rooms and tours, Winemakers Studio educational tasting seminars, Orbitz’s 2018 #1 Best Place To Get Married” in California, and concerts that have featured headliners like Ray Charles and Colbie Caillat.

A wide array of initiatives and consumer events are planned for 2018 in celebration of the 135thanniversary:

135th Anniversary Dinner and Dancing Under the Stars
A memorable evening celebration, toasting to 135 years over dinner, topped with a wonderful night of dancing under the autumn stars.

Spring and Fall Winemaker Dinners
Intimate dinner celebrations hosted by Fifth Generation Winegrower Karl D. Wente and Executive Chef Jeff Farlow.

Dedicated Online Promotions
Online wine specials and limited-time shipping discounts throughout the year, such as $1.35 shipping.

135th Celebratory Chardonnay Special Release
A limited release of a special “Celebratory Chardonnay” will be released to commemorate the 135thanniversary, available DTC and in limited market distribution. The Chardonnay will feature a vintage label design, and 500 bottles will be signed by the Wente family.

Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations. The property features wine tasting, world-class concerts, award-winning fine dining and championship golf. For more information, visit www.wentevineyards.com.

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