“Let me tell you a story,” Carolyn Wente said. And as the fourth generation and CEO of Wente Vineyards, California’s oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery, she had many stories to tell. So did her nephew, fifth-generation Karl Wente, winemaker and senior vice president of winemaking. Their story began in 1883 when Carl H. Wente planted a few acres of grapes in Livermore Valley. Today, Wente owns 3,000 acres of vineyards in Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco in Monterey and produces 600,000 cases of wine annually, about 25 percent of them sold overseas, in 50 countries.
Over the years, Wente garnered a host of accomplishments. One is the Wente Chardonnay clone. Developed by the Wentes from Burgundy and California sources, it is the most planted Chardonnay clone in the state and has produced many award-winning wines. Wente was also the first to label California wines for the grape variety used to make the wine rather than for European regions. And Wente still offers some of the state’s best bargains — remarkable wines at affordable prices.
Take Morning Fog Chardonnay 2012 ($15). A rich, flavorful wine with a silky texture and sprightly acidity, it evokes layers of fruit with a hint of vanilla from its oak aging and offers a medium-long aftertaste. Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2012 ($19–22), from Wente’s Arroyo Seco vineyard, is round, ripe and beguiling. It shows excellent balance, rich fruitiness, good acidity and a touch of vanilla.
With vineyards in different climatic regions, Wente can produce grapes that command a variety of growing conditions. Arroyo Seco’s long, cool growing season, for example, is a welcoming setting for Pinot Noir, as demonstrated in Wente’s Reliz Creek 2010 ($22). It shows Pinot Noir’s traditional softer color and an aroma that blends cherries and berries, a medium body and an intriguing finish.
Merlot 2008 ($65) from The Nth Degree, Wente’s limited-production wines, is vibrant with a combination of fruits and toast in its flavors; a touch of tannin; and a long, satisfying finish.
Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 ($16–20), with 17 percent Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah, combines hints of currants, tea and spice to make a subtle, medium-bodied, focused and enviably priced wine.
With more young Wentes in the waiting, the winery can easily hit its 200th birthday.
There may not be snow in Los Angeles this season, but Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is certainly full of the holiday spirit, with Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s events happening in the hotel’s gorgeous event spaces.
One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) believes business travel is a fundamental force for good and brings the industry together to connect, innovate and set new standards. With members from across the globe, GBTA engages the many voices of business travel to build a collective future, providing a platform for buyers and suppliers to come together, connect with peers, grow their network and shape the future of the industry.
Everyone loves a good Christmas tree, but these iconic hotels around the world take it one step further with designer-styled trees illuminating lobbies and public spaces, wowing all who enter. From Lela Rose to Louis Vuitton, don’t miss these ultra-luxury trees redefining tree decorating as we know it.
In addition to intimate settings, smaller staff-to-passenger ratios, and personalized food and beverage options, river cruises have the advantage of providing a deeper dive into a region’s culture, food and history. The Rhine, Rhône and Danube in Europe and the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence in North America have much to offer travelers with their itineraries, tying together beloved cities and lesser-known destinations along their routes.
With the holidays right around the corner, travelers are preparing for holiday travels. For those looking for a last-minute getaway filled with holiday cheer, consider Croatia. With a variety of winter activities perfect for travelers and locals alike, the Christmas countdown in Croatia is in full swing. Leading up to Christmas, Advent in Croatia makes it even more worth your while to visit the country with free winter incentives. If you plan on visiting Croatia, here are five cities going all out for the holiday season: