C.H. Wente came to America in the late 1800s from Hamburg Germany, learned to make wine from a German by the name of Charles Krug in the Napa Valley, and in 1883 established his first 47-acre Estate and Winery. He chose the Livermore Valley as it was famed for its excellent soils and climate. In 1908, C.H. planted the first Chardonnay vines in the Livermore Valley.

In 1912, second generation and a UC Davis student, Ernest Wente, persuaded his father and founder, C.H. Wente, to import Chardonnay cuttings from a well-known vine nursery, F. Richter Nursery n Montpellier, France, to the Livermore Valley.

Ernest hand-picked vines that showed the best health and pronounced flavors, grafted the two together, and propagated those characteristics forward. Ultimately creating what is known as the ‘Wente Clone.’ Today, over 75% of all California Chardonnay stems from the Wente Clone and the Wente Family property.