Wente Vineyards is a prominent winery that was started back in 1883. The family has a 135 year legacy in winemaking and winegrowing which is why they are such a well-known winery and winemaking family. I grew up around wine, and as I got older I found a real appreciation for California wines. Wente wines were always a staple at the table during the holidays, because of the quality, pair-ability, and age-ability of these beautiful American wines.

“For Fifth Generation Winemaker Karl D. Wente, the unassuming grapevine is mesmerizing. “I get told every day by a non-human how I’m doing in life,” he says “and that can keep you pretty humble.” He now pays homage to his family legacy by crafting a great portfolio of wines that are 100% Estate Grown and Certified Sustainable. “To me, I’m proud that my family has been committed to the soil and climate of Livermore Valley for five generations and Arroyo Seco since the 1960’s, and that we have always had a philosophy of delivering thoughtfully balanced, food-friendly wine, with a sense of place.”- Wentevineyards.com

Wente VineyardsIt’s hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner… but they are! If you’re seeking some wines that will pair well with the holidays and also make great gifts, then Wente wines are for you. I chose a few that are budget friendly, quality driven, and would be great to enjoy all season long.

2016 Morning Fog Chardonnay- This wine is a great expression of the Livermore Valley. It sees partial barrel fermentation and is aged sur lie for 5 months with batonnage (stirring of the lees). This wine pairs well with a Thanksgiving feast as well as seafood dishes such as baked clams, brûléed brie, and plenty of traditional side dishes (my favorite): scalloped potatoes. $15

Wente Vineyards2014 Sandstone Merlot- This is a great display of Merlot and is a wine that receives its character from the hillsides and valley floor vineyards.” The estate grown and certified sustainable vineyards that make up this wine are harvested, fermented and aged separately in barrel for about a year before they are blended together. We add Petite Sirah to the blend which then ages for another 6-12 months. Although lighter in structure than a Cabernet Sauvignon, this Merlot combines solid, yet silky tannins with diverse fruit flavors to make a lasting impression.” –  Karl D. Wente, Fifth Generation Winemaker. I really enjoy this wine especially with medium-rare red meats as well as flourless chocolate tortes. This is absolutely a wine that you can enjoy during dinner and carry on to dessert. $18

2015 Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon- Another estate vineyard wine, this Southern Hills Cab is very expressive of the Livermore Valley as well. This Cabernet is rich and appealing with a lot of structure and balance. This wine is aged 16 months in French, Eastern European, and Neutral oak barrels. A portion of the wine is also in stainless steel, preserving the beautiful and noticeable fruit characters. This wine is ideal for getting together with friends, holiday dinners, and cooler fall nights in front of a fire pit! $18

It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in NYC, and with the holidays quickly approaching be sure to keep Wente wines on your radar!