Quite an interesting place.

Dead Men Talking

While visiting Wente Vineyards in Livermore last Thursday to attend its first annual Chardonnay Day celebration, complete with a televised toast and three-course Chardonnay-paired dinner, I asked fourth-generation winemaker Philip Wente (depicted below) whether any parts of the property might be haunted.

Philip Wente

I asked him this because Wente is a very old winery: Founded 130 years ago, this family-owned outfit is credited with introducing Chardonnay to the USA after importing vines from France shortly after Philip Wente’s ancestor Ernest Wente graduated from UC Davis in 1912. Over 75 percent of the Chardonnay grown throughout this country is said to derive from the “Wente clone.”

Wente garden

Comprising vineyards, a golf course, a garden, two restaurants, olive groves where century-old trees produce Oro Fino extra-virgin olive oil, and other features including many buildings and a vivid lawn on which a summer concert series is held, this historic Northern California landmark has been home…

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