We spent a gloriously sun-soaked day in Livermore Valley wine country last weekend, touring the Wente Family Estates’ sister wineries including Murrieta’s Well, Tamás Estates and, of course, Wente Vineyards.
Karl Wente, fifth generation Wente and winemaker, was our Bottle-Shock-friendly guide, with a special guest appearance by his two dogs, Samantha Lyn and William Edward III (my Dad used to add a numerical suffix to his dogs too in honor of the previous on’e life… not sure if this is same with Karl’s terrier/wiener/chow).
He educated and entertained both Loni and I as we strolled vineyards, visited his home, tasted wine, talked music and toured production facilities. All this despite only getting two-and-a-half hours of sleep after a long road trip telling the world about Wente and winemaking.
In this video, Karl talks about Wente’s history with Chardonnay dating back to 1936. Also, pop quiz: do you know what Battonage is? View this live demo as Loni gives it a whirl. Pay close attention too and you may even learn what gives Chardonnay that butter quality.
Is it just me, or does the basketball-tall Karl next to Loni have the makings of some kind of Pixar animated buddy movie? Now I know why Loni wanted to do other parts of the interviews sitting.
You won’t want to miss the rest of this series! We have a special behind the scenes look at Karl’s unique artwork, custom bachelor pad, a restaurant review (and bonus interview with executive Chef Arthur Well)… and even a special guitar performance by Karl himself, all shot live in HD in Livermore. Does it get any better?!
(Production note: I have to say I am into the post-apocalyptic, cold-color look of this segment… not exactly typical wine country imagery. And certainly a contrast from the Argento-like look of the San Jose Rep shoots and the recent Jeffrey Goodman interview. It took a special effect and three servers to process the tone. Future episodes will bloom into full Livermore color. The contrasts of life, and wine. Clint)