Since 1883, the Wente Family has been dedicated to the art of winemaking and to the philosophy that the quality of a wine originates in the vineyard.
Maintaining family tradition is essential to Wente Vineyards, but just as important are constant innovation and a drive to raise the bar higher at every opportunity.
The Winemakers Studio is a place where we invite you, our guests, to engage in hands-on, interactive, FUN, and educational winemaking and grape-growing activities.
The studio is seasonally inspired and will change as often as the vines growing in the vineyards. So, what you come see and experience one month will be completely different the next.
We look forward to enjoying everything wine with you.
— Phil, Carolyn, Karl, Christine, and Eric Wente
Chief Winemaker and Fifth Generation Winegrower
Chief Winemaker and Fifth Generation Winegrower Karl D. Wente is responsible for all winemaking at Wente Vineyards. His education includes a degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and two Master’s degrees: one in horticulture (viticulture) and one in food science (enology), from the University of California at Davis. Karl balances his strong academic background with the traditional hands-on approach of previous generations of Wente family winemakers. For five generations, this family has tended the vines that go into their wines.
Karl grew up working at Wente Vineyards, and he expanded that experience with work at the Peter Michael Winery in Sonoma, and Brown Brothers winery in northern Victoria, Australia. Karl works with his family to farm nearly 3,000 acres of vineyards in some of the most desirable wine regions of California. As one might expect, the farming practices are sophisticated and rooted in a deep understanding of soil, science and sustainability.
In his free time, Karl balances his intense work at the winery with a broad range of other activities and interests. He is an avid skier, yogi, telemarker and mountain climber, and he loves playing tennis and basketball. He also has a passion for music, playing guitar, composing and performing with his band The Front Porch.
Vice President of Winemaking
Brad Buehler received his Bachelor of Science at the University California, Davis in Fermentation Science and has spent 35 of the 38 harvests he’s participated in at Wente Vineyards. As Vice President of Winemaking, he oversees the production of the winery’s estate grown and small lot wines. Brad grew up in Aptos, California and currently resides in the Livermore Valley. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his bike and traveling with his wife.
Winemaker, Small Lot
Claude Bobba, a native to the Livermore Valley, is a self-taught winemaker. Thirsty for knowledge, he read all the wine books he could and wasn’t shy about asking questions. Claude is a very skilled and well-rounded winemaker. He started as a home winemaker in 1988 and joined Wente Vineyards as part of the vineyard crew in 1997. After 4 years, Claude was invited by Karl Wente to join him in developing Wente Vineyard’s Small Lot program, showcasing the best of the family’s estate vineyards. His hobbies include abalone diving, mushroom hunting and he plays a mean game of pool.
Andrew Lynch joined Wente Vineyards in 2005, and in collaboration with Karl D. Wente, is the Winemaker for the Small Lot Winery. Raised on a family farm and orchard just north of Salinas, Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a minor in History and Education at the University of California, Davis. In his role at Wente Vineyards, he oversees experimental winemaking as well as maintaining the highest quality standards for the winemaking program. He collaborates with Karl Wente and team to ascertain the ideal strategies for the fermentation, ageing and blending of the Wente Vineyards wines. He loves the ever dynamic energy of winemaking as well as the family spirit his colleagues bring to their work daily. In this spare time, Andrew enjoys relaxing with his family and camping.
A native of Northridge, California, Elizabeth Kester has been making wine since 2007. While attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo she tended to vines and made her first wine on the Cal Poly campus. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Wine and Viticulture she worked at Edna Valley Vineyards for the 2009 harvest. She then developed her palate as a Wine Specialist for BevMo by tasting wines from all over the world, but knew she wanted to have purple hands so she came to Livermore Valley to join the Wente Vineyards team in 2010. As a winemaker, Elizabeth manages the data analysis to support the winemaking team with quality information and science to help craft world class wines. Outside of the winery, she loves riding horses and even played on the Cal Poly Polo team.