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Karl Wente

5th Generation Winegrower & Chief Winemaker, COO

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Winemaker Karl D. Wente is responsible for overseeing winemaking at Wente Vineyards. The year 2022 represents Karl’s twentieth vintage at Wente Vineyards.

Karl Wente is all about balance. He combines the latest technology in the vineyards with such age-old pursuits as yoga and music, all part of his larger world vision. His education includes a degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and two Master’s degrees: one in horticulture (viticulture) and one in food science (enology), from the University of California at Davis. Studying winemaking and viticulture at UC Davis is a family tradition. Karl’s father and uncle studied there, as did his great-grandfather in 1909, a year after the school was founded.

Karl balances his strong academic background with the traditional hands-on approach of previous generations of Wente family winemakers.  Karl grew up working at Wente Vineyards and expanded that experience with work at the Peter Michael Winery in Sonoma and Brown Brothers winery in northern Victoria, Australia.

The highest expression of Karl’s winemaking vision is a series of artisanal, handcrafted wines that broke new ground for the winery. These small-lot wines, the nth DEGREE series, were created in a specially-built small-lot winemaking facility within the main winery. The wines have received an enthusiastic response from critics, trade, and consumers.

Karl balances his intense work at the winery with a broad range of other activities and interests in his free time. He is an avid skier, yogi, and mountain climber, and he loves playing tennis and basketball. He also has a passion for music, playing guitar, composing, and performing with Wolf Hamlin and the Front Porch Drifters band.

Meet The Wente Family

Eric Wente

4th Generation Winegrower Chairman Emeritus of the Board

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Phil Wente

4th Generation Winegrower Co-founder of Murrieta’s Well and Vice-Chairman

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Carolyn Wente

4th Generation Winegrower and Board Chairman

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Christine Wente

5th Generation Winegrower & President of the Wente Foundation of Art Education

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Jordan Wente

5th Generation Winegrower & Brand Manager of Murrieta’s Well

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Aly Wente

5th Generation Winegrower & Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experiences

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Niki Wente

5th Generation Winegrower & Senior Vineyard and Viticulture Manager

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