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WINE REVIEW: Wente Vineyards 2021 Chardonnay, Morning Fog, Central Coast, CA ($18)

by Andrew Chalk

Wente has achieved certification for the sustainability of its vineyards and its winery. This appears to have been synchronized with a burst of activity in its winemaking. This reasonably-priced chardonnay is an example of this.

I quaffed it to a movie. It would also pair with white-sauced pasta, pork, fish, veal, and shellfish.

Easy to enjoy. Recommended.


Appearance: Light straw;

Nose: Tropical fruit (pineapple, mango), vanilla,

Palate: engaging phenolic backbone, chewy texture, flavors of pineapple and mango. Medium-plus acid.

Details from the winery...


Wente Vineyards Unveils Sustainability-Driven Packaging

Ahead of Earth Month

Refreshed front labels focus on Certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery messaging as Wente Vineyards shifts its bottles to a new, light-weight glass

LIVERMORE, Calif. (March 31, 2022) – Wente Vineyards, the country’s longest, continuously family-owned and operated winery, is proud to announce an important packaging refresh that puts its Sustainable Vineyard and Winery certification center-stage on all front labels while transitioning to lighter, more carbon-neutral glass for its bottles. This significant update was championed by the family’s fifth generation winegrowers, whose forward-thinking approach to sustainability continues to push the envelope in defining how ethical practices are measured.

Wente Vineyards’ 2021 Morning Fog Chardonnay, just released this week, marks the first wine to reflect the new packaging. Each new vintage release going forward in the Wente Vineyards portfolio will make the transition with every new bottling.

“Our commitment to responsible farming has always been one of the core pillars of Wente Vineyards,” said Niki Wente, Fifth-Generation Winegrower and Director of Vineyard Operations. “Proudly stating on the front label that we are a Certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery better communicates that priority to our Wente Vineyards’ consumers – an audience who has become increasingly engaged when it comes to ethically produced wines.”

Wente Vineyards is a certified sustainable vineyard and winery from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CCSW). Fewer than ten percent of wineries hold both the vineyard and winery certifications, and Wente Vineyards is proud to be counted among them. The certification is verified annually by a third party on over sixty vineyards and forty-one winery prerequisites. Year after year, Wente Vineyards must demonstrate continuous improvements and implement action plans for the following year’s initiatives. Each year, Wente Vineyards goes well beyond what is required to maintain the certification.

One of the 2022 action plans now underway is the transition of Wente Vineyards bottles to lighter-weight glass, reducing reduce fuel usage for transport, and thus decreasing carbon emissions from the supplier to the consumer. To further increase energy efficiencies, a new bottling line is currently being installed and will be in operation by early 2023.

The choice of 2021 Morning Fog Chardonnay as among the first wines to reflect the new packaging holds an additional significance. Morning Fog Chardonnay is one of Wente Vineyards two most distributed wines (along with Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon), sold nationwide and internationally. The new lightweight glass molds will make a measurable difference to the winery’s global footprint and carbon emission. Further, last year’s 2020 Morning Fog was the first vintage to transition to a Central Coast AVA designation, which helped catapult Wente Vineyards’ flagship label to its best year on record. That additional visibility facilitates an even greater consumer audience, whose purchasing decisions are expected to be increasingly driven by ethical winemaking practices.

The new packaging comes on the heels of Wente Vineyards’ recent website refresh, which includes a new page highlighting the estate’s ongoing sustainability practices – updated regularly with the most current improvements and initiatives.

Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations, featuring wine tasting, food and wine experiences, and championship golf. The winery draws from certified sustainable estate Central Coast vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding array of fine wines.

About Wente Vineyards:

Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards has been celebrated for its industry-wide contributions to innovation as the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in the country, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family, with women leading the charge from grape to glass. The winery draws from certified sustainable estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding array of fine wines distributed in all 50 states and over 70 countries worldwide. In 2010, it joined the top 5% of California wineries that meet all three tiers within the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing codes and designation for both their estate vineyards and winery.

Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations. The winery is additionally known for its leadership role in sustainable employment practices, including its longstanding mission to inspire employees and guests to make time for personal and professional development. This mission is realized through Wente Vineyards’ family stewardship, outstanding wines, and wine country experiences. For more information, visit


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