Wente Vineyards Begins Historic 125th Harvest : Quasquicentennial Harvest Begins in the Heart of the Livermore Valley

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Wente Family Estates’ 125th harvest will begin tomorrow, August 26th at 4am. Picking for five hours, the crews will harvest the 13-acre Block 30200 of Sauvignon Blanc in the family’s Ruby Hills vineyard. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest is a historic and notable one for the family. Today the Wentes own the vineyards that yielded the fruit for California’s first “bottle shock,” when a Cresta Blanca Sauternes won the Grand Prix at the 1889 Paris International Exposition.

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As for frost, I saw my first frost damage in Livermore in my 8 harvests here. That too was minimal, and the shoot tips grew through the frost and we have seen no yield or quality impact in our vineyards.

While the 2008 winegrape growing season in Northern California was dramatic, with record frosts and fire, Wente Vineyards was fortunate. "In the Livermore Valley, the smoke cleared quickly and did not accumulate. The same weather patterns that bring the fog in from the bay also serve to clear the air of smoke, thus there was imperceptible impact from the smoke," said Karl Wente, Fifth Generation Winemaker. "As for frost, I saw my first frost damage in Livermore in my 8 harvests here. That too was minimal, and the shoot tips grew through the frost and we have seen no yield or quality impact in our vineyards."

"In our Monterey vineyards, as in the Livermore Valley, Arroyo Seco has windy afternoons which bring in cool air from the Pacific, clearing the air. And all of our vineyards are on the banks of the Arroyo Seco River or Reliz Creek, where cool air drains to the water, protecting us from the frost."

"2008 illustrated one of the gifts of pioneering two wine regions many years ago: the ability to acquire and plant near perfect vineyard sites," continued Wente. "Our crews, some of whom have more than 30 years experience, provided exceptional management of the irrigation and farming of our estate vineyards," he said. "My family and I are looking forward to this 125th harvest."

For more information, visit http://www.wentevineyards.com.

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Christina Zirker
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