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Celebrating Carolyn Wente: 2023 American Wine Legend

We are proud to announce that Carolyn Wente, Chairman of the Board and Fourth Generation Winegrower, has been honored as the 2023 American Wine Legend by Wine Enthusiast. This prestigious award celebrates a remarkable four-decade career and is a perfect finale to Wente Vineyards’ 140th anniversary year.

Her incredible journey began in 1980 when she joined her family’s business, after graduating from Stanford University and gaining experience as a Financial Analyst at Crocker National Bank. Since then, Carolyn’s visionary leadership has propelled Wente Vineyards to global recognition, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts worldwide.

Under Carolyn Wente’s leadership and partnership with her two brothers, Eric and Phil, Wente Vineyards has become synonymous with innovation and quality. She expanded the Wente portfolio of wines, meticulously pursuing quality and approachability. Carolyn’s vision also led to the development of Wente Vineyards’ lifestyle businesses and the creation of immersive wine country experiences, setting a standard for modern-day wine hospitality. She oversaw the creation of the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards and initiated the Concerts at Wente Vineyards in 1986. Her hard work ethic and unwavering commitment to family values have inspired generations within the company.

Throughout her career, Carolyn Wente has played a pivotal role in advancing the American wine industry. She has been a vocal advocate for women in the wine business, breaking barriers in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Her contributions have been acknowledged through numerous accolades, including the prestigious American Wine Legend Award, the Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s (LDEI) Grande Dame Award, and much more. Carolyn’s impact extends beyond her family’s vineyards; she sits on the Executive Leadership Board for the School of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Upon receiving the American Wine Legend award, Carolyn Wente expressed her gratitude: “I am truly appreciative to receive this award. Our winery’s longevity cannot be credited to any single person, and just as we stand on the shoulders of the generations who came before, I also share credit with my family. I am proud of what we have achieved and continue to achieve as the fifth generation takes the helm.”

As we celebrate Carolyn Wente’s remarkable achievements and well-deserved recognition as the 2023 American Wine Legend, we invite you to raise a glass to this extraordinary woman who has shaped the landscape of the American wine industry. Her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us, ensuring that Wente Vineyards remains a beacon of excellence and a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and innovation in the world of wine.

Congratulations, Carolyn Wente, on this extraordinary achievement. Here’s to the legend, the trailblazer, and the visionary!

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