Are you ready for the COOLEST WINERY EVER?
Not just any winery where you go wine tasting and then leave.
I’m talking about wine tasting in CAVES, beautiful gardens, live musical performances, unique wine making classes and just the most incredible vibes.
AHEM, I’m talking about Wente Vineyards (founded back in 1883) in Livermore, California.
This is a gem of a winery that you NEED to go visit.
Greenery is everywhere. The smell of mint, lavender, wine and garden herbs are in the air.
What I love about this winery is that their passion extends way beyond winemaking. It’s a philosophy of the Wente family, and it shows in everything they do at the winery. For example, they actually CARE about the environment and convert waste into fuel, they use a drip irrigation system to save water, and they create homes for birds to combat pests. And most importantly, they care about the folks who make these incredible experiences. I mean… how freakin’ cool are they??
Their latest initiative is #MakeTime. Through the initiative, they hope to encourage others to make time for the people and things they care about most. When I found out about it, I was instantly intrigued because the words in this video really resonated with me. I spend an INSANE amount of time either on my computer or on my phone. This past year, I’ve been running at 100 miles per hour and haven’t looked back. It’s no wonder I’ve been feeling a little burnt out.
Do you guys ever feel this way? Feel like you have “no time” for family parties, to hang out, to go catch a movie?
Welp, that’s a big problem. I needed to get my priorities in check and this #MakeTime campaign was a friendly reminder to spend quality time with those around me.
As a way to demonstrate my own #MakeTime commitment, Kelly and I decided to have a girls’ trip to the vineyards. If you guys don’t know Kelly- she’s my BFF, blogger and full-time DOCTOR! We both needed a quick escape from city life.
We ended up spending 7 hours at Wente Vineyards. SEVEN HOURS!! Can you believe it? I guess times flies when you’re having fun ;)
We headed straight for a wine tasting, where we got to sample their sparkling brut, chardonnay, and the Nth Degree pinot noir.
After our first tasting, we experienced a Wine Aroma Discovery class at the Winemakers Studio.
We were taught how to determine the wine’s color and clarity by holding it up to a white background. We also learned how to smell and taste for certain flavors like coffee, pear, and cinnamon. And at the end of the class, we were put to the test! We had 6 different fragrances and we were tasked to identify the smell. Fun, right??
FOOD at Wente
I’m still having dreams about the food here. Between us two girls, we had the feast of a lifetime.
But before I get into the food, I should mention that over 40% of the produce plated in the Restaurant is picked FRESH from their garden. That’s right. They have a garden, run by Master Gardener, Diane Dovholuk.
She’s been at Wente Vineyards for over 20 years, and she built the garden from nothing! It truly makes me appreciate all the incredible dishes we had for dinner because every produce is picked fresh from this garden.
The Restaurant is run by Executive Chef Mike Ward. Together, Diane and Mike make one hell of a team. They serve American dishes influenced by Italian, French, and California cuisine.
Here’s a little peek at what we had for dinner:
Vegetable Tagine with spring vegetables, kale, chickpeas, vadouvan, and lemon yogurt
Seared Day Boat Scallops with elote succotash, Spanish chorizo, kale, salsa verde
Chicken fried quail with corn chowder, andouille sausage, eggplant, leek, carrots and shishito peppers
14oz Prime Dry- Aged Ribs Eye with pearled barley, mushrooms and white asparagus
And if you’re wondering about the meat, it comes from their farms down the street. In fact, the cows are fed a glass of wine every night.
Okay, HOW AMAZING does this all sound? I’m literally drooling on the keyboard as we speak…
And no surprise, on the weekends they host live music events with past performers like Sheryl Crow and American Idol contestants! We didn’t get to see any shows this time but mark my words- I’ll be back!!
To sum it all up, if you’re looking for an amazing wine tasting experience with all the right vibes and the people you care most about, make sure you spend a whole day at Wente Vineyards. Consider a wine tasting inside their caves (available on Sundays), sign up for a Winemakers Studio class, have dinner at The Restaurant and see a live show. You won’t be disappointed!
Thanks Wente Vineyards for sponsoring this post and reminding me to #maketime for those that matter the most. All opinions are my own.