When you’re visiting California wine country, skip Napa and go wine tasting in Livermore Valley. First on your list should be Wente Vineyards. Here’s why…
Last weekend I finally had a few days off from the hospital, so Pat and I did the short drive from San Francisco to the Livermore Valley wine region. Our only agenda was a relaxing day at Wente Vineyards. Wente is honestly one of the prettiest wineries we’ve ever visited. The white buildings remind me of our trip to South Africa. The temperate fall weather and palm trees really made it feel like we were on vacation.
Wine Tasting in Livermore, California
Wente was the perfect spot to unwind – and disconnect – on a warm fall day. Pat actually left his phone in the car for the entire day (!) and I used mine only to do a few Instagram Stories. Other than that there was no scrolling, “just checking one thing quick” or any of those other bad screen time habits that are easy to fall into.
This is my fourth month trying to be mindful of my screen time thanks to Wente’s #MakeTime initiative. I’m not going to lie and say the process has been easy. It’s something I constantly need to check in with myself about. Pat and I also try to remind each other when we’re spending time together.
There are a bunch of new tools on my iPhone and right in the Instagram app that help to track screen time, so now I have data that says being mindful is actually working, which is so encouraging! For the month of October, I spent less time on my phone than I did in September.
The Garden at Wente Vineyards
No trip to Wente is complete without visiting Diane in her amazing organic garden. Even though it was Saturday, she was there lovingly tending to her vegetables, fruits and flowers.
She pointed out the explosion of peppers and the corn that are almost ready for harvest. Drying chiles swung gently in the fall breeze and the grapes were just begging to be picked.
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
For lunch, we did the wine tasting lunch at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. After our last amazing meal there, the bar was pretty high. Executive Chef Ward still managed to over deliver!
The tasting menu features three beautiful seasonal dishes paired with some of Wente’s small lot wines. Many of the ingredients for our meal came right from the garden we had walked through just minutes before.
Each course had two options. The first course was pear salad and mushroom arancini. The wine selections were WMS Artisan White and Nth Degree Chardonnay (my favorite!).
Next up were smoked duck breast with red pepper polenta and broccoli relish, and black cod with butter beans and Moroccan aioli. Paired wines were WMS Counoise and Eric’s Chardonnay.
The meal finished with a melon float with sparkling wine and chocolate flourless cake with spiced port. Everything was heavenly. The portions were perfect – we were full, but not stuffed.
Winemaking Blending Experience at the Winemaker’s Studio
We also took a wine blending class during our visit to Wente. This was one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had at a winery. We leaned how to look at, smell and taste the wine to appreciate the characteristics that each wine would add to our final blend.
We each walked away with an exceptional (in my humble opinion ?) bottle of wine that was truly one of a kind.
Visit Wente Vineyards
5565 Tesla Road
5040 Arroyo Rd
Livermore, CA 94550
Thank you so much to Wente Vineyards for sponsoring this post and reminding me to #MakeTime for the people and things that matter. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that help me bring you beautiful content!
P.S. – Want to know more about wine tasting at Wente Vineyards? Check out this post:
P.P.S. – Headed to California Wine Country? Pin this Wine Tasting Guide for later!