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Stories of Our Journey featuring Eric Wente

Learn about the story of the Livermore Valley from 4th generation winegrower, Eric Wente.

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The Livermore Valley has really been known as the Livermore Valley since 1835, Robert Livermore. Grapes first started coming here really in any serious amount with the Gold Rush. People were coming here from San Francisco as weekend locations similar to Napa and Sonoma areas, Santa Cruz, and San Jose.

The Livermore Valley of the 1950s was a much slower pace than it is today, but I guess that’s true for all of California. When I was born there was about 5,000 people in the city of Livermore, today there’s over 80,000.

In terms of the wine business, really, in the early 1990s there were 4 wineries in the valley and now we are up to 50, which is due in large part by being able to get the South Valley Plan together, which enabled parties in the area to get zoning to maintain open space and allow agriculture to continue.

If you look at the increasing quality of wines coming out of the Livermore Valley, it’s really living up to its reputation and the impact on California. I think we’re going to continue to see better quality wines. The Livermore Valley today is a very vibrant and dynamic area.

It's really a pretty magical place for growing grapes and making wine.


2018 Eric’s Chardonnay

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“I crafted this unoaked Chardonnay to honor my dad, Eric Wente. It is entirely fermented and aged in stainless steel which creates an excellent balance between fruit and acidity and is my dad’s favored style. I am incredibly proud of my family's legacy with Chardonnay over the past 100 years, and I look forward to continuing that tradition for generations to come.” – Karl D. Wente, 5th Generation Winegrower