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Wente Family Estates fifth-generation winegrower becomes director of vineyard operations

Wente Family Estates has announced the promotion of fifth generation winegrower, Niki Wente, to director of vineyard operations.

Wente Family Estates fifth-generation winegrower becomes director of vineyard operations

Wente will be responsible for the creation, implementation, and oversight of all farming operations and vineyard development projects under the Wente Family Estates portfolio umbrella.

The estate’s portfolio covers roughly 1,200 hectares of land and more than 200 blocks – in both the Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco in California.

“I’m honoured to accept my new role as Director of Vineyard Operations,” Wente said of her new role.

“It means so much to follow in the footsteps of the trailblazers who came before me, who have helped maintain the health of this land and made my job today possible. Our mantra has always been ‘If you take care of the soil the soil will take care of you.’

“My family has been committed to sustainability since 1883, when my great-great-great-grandfather made it his mission to have a business that lasted generations. In my new role, I’m especially committed to continuing that legacy while pushing my team to find new avenues of sustainability with every year that passes so we can remain leaders in our field. I am excited about what the future holds.”

Wente, a fifth-generation winegrower in her family, will employ a specific focus on vine health, fruit quality, and sustainable vineyard practices.

The estate’s vineyards are certified sustainable through the Certified Sustainable California Winegrowing (CCSW) Alliance. Carbon sequestration, water conservation, naturally integrated pest management, minimizing chemical inputs, and reducing emissions are some of the key focuses of the estate in improving sustainability.

Wente graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in wine and viticulture. Prior to joining her family’s company, she worked in Grower Relations at Huneeus Vintners, sourcing fruit from over 30 California growers for Flowers Vineyard and Winery, Faust, Illumination, and Quintessa. She also worked on biodynamic estate viticulture projects for Quintessa and Faust.

She then joined the Wente Family Estates Vineyard Operations team in early 2017, following on from her father, Phil Wente, who managed the vineyard land before her.

Niki Wente will continue to report directly into Karl Wente, Chief Operating Officer. He said: “Niki has played a significant role in taking us into the next phase of our sustainable business model while leading the entire vineyard organisation. Now, Director of Vineyard Operations, we’re excited to see what Niki can achieve.”

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