Wente Vineyards has been farming sustainably since its founding in 1883. Throughout its history, Wente Vineyards has been a leader in sustainable practices helping implement the non-profit trade organization’s Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices.
“These vineyards are our legacy to our children – the fifth generation of the Wente family and beyond – and we make every effort to preserve what nature has so generously provided.”
Fourth-Generation Winegrower, Phil Wente
Wente Vineyards is proudly a certified sustainable vineyard and winery from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. Less than ten percent of wineries hold both the vineyard and winery certifications. The certification is verified annually by a third party on over sixty vineyards and forty-one winery prerequisites. Year after year, Wente Vineyards must demonstrate continuous improvements and implement action plans for the following year’s initiatives.
These are a few of our main pillars of the many sustainable practices that Wente Vineyards implements throughout the supply chain.
Our Sustainable Practices
Wente Vineyards practices site-specific irrigation with flow meters and evapotranspiration sensors to enable precision of watering the vines when needed. We plant hedgerows to avoid run-off and protect the integrity of groundwater. We use one steam sanitation unit for the barrel and tanks to reduce water waste in the cellar.
Our winery’s wastewater is put into a water reclamation pond where it is treated. The pond is the most effective means for the biological oxidation of winery wastewater.
Wente Vineyards implements regenerative farming practices to build and maintain healthy soils and keep carbon in the ground. We practice a no-till system to not disturb the soil and less tractor emissions. Cover crops are planted to the specific block and soil type to promote biodiversity, beneficial insects, improve microbiological life and soil structure. Sheep graze the vineyard weeds in the winter to eliminate the use of tractors and chemicals. Wente Vineyard focuses on integrated pest management to control vineyard pests without chemicals throughout the year and has a full-time falconer during harvest season.
We collect soil and water samples annually and tissue samples three times a year from each vineyard block to understand our vine nutrient status. We also apply compost and biochar in areas that have shown soil structure could use improvement.
Wente Vineyards is proud to purchase one of the first electric tractors from Monarch Tractors. The electric tractors will dramatically reduce carbon emissions, energy expenditure, fuel spending and labor compared to standard vineyard tractors. Based on 1000 hours of runtime, the carbon emission reduction will be 34.5k+lbs CO2e.
We have invested in a STARS filtration unit to reduce energy load during our cold stabilization process in the winery. This filtration system saves 90% of energy compared to traditional cold stabilization methods.
Wente Vineyards is committed to sustainable initiatives throughout the supply chain. We are in the process of transitioning our bottles to lighter-weight glass to reduce our carbon emissions from the supplier to the consumer. In addition, we produce our collateral and point of sales materials from recycled material that can be easily recycled after its use.
In 2022, Wente Vineyards will install a new bottling line to increase energy efficiencies further.
Beyond the vineyard and winery, we are committed to positively impacting our communities and our team members. Wente Family Estates employees 151 full-time employees and 53 part-time employees. The overall average tenure is 10 years for full-time staff. In addition, all employees receive paid volunteer hours to donate their time and effort to influential organizations in their community.
We support over 50 community-based non-profits across the United States. Proactive efforts are made to foster good relations with neighbors and promote a better understanding of our operation and the industry. In addition, our team members sit on various community boards to advocate for positive changes.