Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay is an single vineyard white wine made by in Arroyo Seco, Monterey.
Wente Vineyards was founded by C. H. Wente, a first-generation immigrant from Germany, in 1883. Recognizing that the warm days, cool nights and gravelly soils of the Livermore Valley were ideal for growing grapes, he purchased 48 acres and planted vineyards. Continuing the 125+ years legacy, the winery is managed today by the Fourth Generation of the Wente family, Eric, Philip, Carolyn, and the Fifth Generation, Christine and Karl. Arroyo Seco is widely regarded as one of the best places in California to grow Chardonnay and Riva Ranch is the name of the Wente family’s vineyard in Arroyo Seco, where they have been growing Chardonnay since the 1960’s. In 1936 Wente were, in fact, the first California winery to produce a wine actually labelled as Chardonnay and today many of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California are planted with the Wente Clone. The long, cool growing season with the deep gravelly soil ripen the Chardonnay perfectly which gives natural balance of sugar and acidity.
Wente Riva Ranch Vineyard is planted with various different Chardonnay clones including 2A, Clone 4, Dijon clones 95, 96, 76 and Old Wente Heritage Clones. Each clone brings different flavours, aromatics and textures to the blend. Clone 2A was selected for it’s intense varietal character and low yield and clone 4 is a second generation Wente clone. Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Chardonnay is barrel fermented. 90% of the wine is barrel fermented in a combination of 60% new and 40% second use French and American oak barrels which adds notes of vanilla and spice and a softer, fuller mouthfeel. The remaining 10% is stainless steel fermented which helps to preserve the natural vibrancy of the fruit. 100% malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged sur lie for 8 months in the same French and American oak barrels and batonnage is performed every two weeks. This adds a creamy note to the wine and enhances the texture.
The 2018 vintage contains 2% Gewurztraminer.