Review of The Restaurant, The Grill and The Course At Wente Vineyards

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Fall Colors
Fall Colors | Source
Livermore Veterans Administration Hospital
Livermore Veterans Administration Hospital | Source
The original Cresta Blanca winery cleaned up beautifully.
The original Cresta Blanca winery cleaned up beautifully. | Source

History In The Making

Some time ago riding down this road in searched of words to write I found the Nostalgic Bicycle Ride Through Livermore Wine Country. Today the search is for good food, good wine, good atmosphere and a little history to make the search worthwhile.

As a kid, I remember vineyards along this country road. The Veterans Hospital where my mom worked was out in the middle of nowhere. The vineyards always intrigued me. The grape vines made scallops along the hills edging the golden rolling hills. Cresta Blanca vineyards in those days (Founded in 1882) produced champagne. The winery failed in the the 60's and lay fallow for many years. Sometime in the late 80's, signs of life, at the old vineyard appeared. Grapes vines were replanted. Something magical began to happen as the old caves got new doors. It was magical, whoever was refurbishing the winery planted grapes just like the old Cresta Blanca vineyards. The old tasting room was refurbished, and Wente Sparkling Cellars tasting room opened and the mystery was solved. The Wente Family has owned vineyards in the Livermore Valley for over 130 years. As the crow flies this canyon is a mile or two from their Tesla Road tasting room and vineyards. Cresta Blanca vineyards made an excellent addition to the family business.

An Afternoon at Wente
An Afternoon at Wente | Source

Wente Family Owned Vineyards

The Wente family has owned vineyards in the Livermore Valley since 1883. The current wine maker, 5th generation, Wente family, winemaker, Carl D. Wente grew up in Livermore, This family has done a nice job developing a sustainable business. The garden outside the restaurant is where they grow organic vegetables for the restaurant. They use sustainable growing practices to assure their grapes are the best quality.

Winter Spring At The Course

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The Golf Course

As the Arroyo Road property was being developed a golf course and grill was added. The Wente team joined Greg Norman to create this award winning golf course which opened in 1998. The Course was the idea of matriarch Jean Wente who has kept playing well into her eighties.. This challenging golf course flows through the canyon behind Lake Del Valle. The views are spectacular in the fall when the foliage on the grapevines is changing color, in the spring when the hills are green, in the summer when the hills are golden. This is a golf course for all seasons.

Summer Fading Into Fall

The road in the center of the picture is the golf cart road.
The road in the center of the picture is the golf cart road. | Source

The Grill

The Grill overlooks the 18th hole of The Course. They serve typical breakfast foods like eggs, pancakes, breakfast burritos fresh fruit and yogurt. The lunch menu includes hamburgers, soups and salads. The prices for everything except the steak and eggs and flatiron steak sandwich are under $10. The food is very good.

Overview Of Wente

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Today, within the compound of the Wente Vineyards are The tasting room,The Grill, The Course, and The Restaurant at Wente. Most of the everyday workings of winemaking occurs at the Wente winery on Tesla Road.

When you first enter the property The Restaurant and tasting room are on your right. The Course and The Grill are farther in. You can breakfast or lunch overlooking the golf course at the grill. You can play a round of golf, grab a shower in the clubhouse and still make a luncheon or dinner reservation at The Restaurant if fine dining suits your taste. If you are in a hurry The Grill will be more to your liking.

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Fine Dinning

Fine dinning is not for those in a hurry. I am reminded of how Nero Wolf forbade any talk of work while he was eating. Fine dinning like winemaking takes time. To enjoy fine dinning you must relax and enjoy your food. The Restaurant at Wente serves American food with a hint of France and Italy. They use the freshest ingredients available. The fresh garden vegetables may seem exotic to those who haven't grown up around them, but much of what is served is old fashion goodness straight from the garden. Salad greens and squash, edible flowers from the garden appear regularly on the menu.

Dinning Room

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The atmosphere at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards is serene and relaxing. The Restaurant is a place for enjoying food, conversation,and building relationships. Menus are created according to the season and much of the meat is raised on the family ranch in the central valley.

Servers are knowledgeable about the wine, as well as the food. Servers spend time with diners to ensure their dining experience is excellent.


Crab salad and sprouts. Yum!
Crab salad and sprouts. Yum! | Source

On a beautiful day there is patio seating for lunch.

During the summer you can enjoy a concert with your dinner.

The Wente Concert Series this year feature Chris Isaaks, Earth Wind and Fire, and Tony Bennett to name a few.

Chefs Garden In The Fall

Chefs garden at Wente Vineyards
Chefs garden at Wente Vineyards | Source

Fresh From The Garden

When a restaurant has its own gardens you get really fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. I believe seasonal foods are the healthiest foods to eat. You get the nutrients your body needs during whatever season you are experiencing. The Wente's chefs garden is large. You can see the garden driving along Arroyo Road just past the entrance to the Wente property. The organic herb gardens weaves through the public walkways inside the compound and have charming labels.

The chef plans his meals around what is available in the garden. Expect summer vegetables during the summer, harvest vegetables during the fall, winter vegetables in the winter and spring vegetables in the spring.

An upcoming event at Wente is the Chefs Garden Tour and Tasting. You will meet head chef Matt Greco and master gardener Diane Dovholuk to learn about the organic garden and how the chef creates menus from the garden.

Fresh Herbs

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The Details

This beautifully developed family owned business has a challenging golf course, excellent wines and good food.

The Restaurant is expensive. Expect to spend $50 or more for lunch per person. Dinner will cost $75 per person and upward. For reservations call 925.456.2450 or go on line www.wentevineyards.com/restaurant

The food and wine are always wonderful

Wente wines are known internationally. You find Wente wines at grocery stores and wine specialty stores or the two tasting rooms in Livermore.

show route and directions
A markerThe Restaurant At Wente Vineyards -
5050 Arroyo Rd, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
[get directions]

The Restaurant at Wente vineyards is a place to celebrate just about anything. This is fine dinning at it's best. Call 925 456 2450 for reservations.

B markerThe Course At Wente Vineyards -
5050 Arroyo Rd, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
[get directions]

Designed by Greg Norman The Course is challenging as you golf your way through canyons among the vineyards.

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Comments 26 comments

carter06 profile image

carter06 2 years ago from Cronulla NSW

My best friend owns a vineyard in the Southern Highlands region of NSW & produces a superb Reisling. I'm always interested to read about other vineyards & was surprised to find wines from California having an International reputation. You don't hear much about great wine coming from the US over here especially since Australia & NZ produce top quality wines & of course everyone knows about French wine.. Thanks for such an interesting read..cheers


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Exceptional piece. Made me want to go --- yesterday!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

A lovely road trip with a tasty treat at the end. Thanks for taking us along.


travmaj profile image

travmaj 2 years ago from australia

What a great hub, I'm thirsty and hungry and ready for dinner. Love the addition of the herb garden and seasonal vegetables used by the chef. Enjoyed this visit to Wente Vineyards very much.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Cartero6, Thanks for visiting. The first time I saw a Wente wine outside the US was in Sipan in 1978. Every once in a while we get lucky in CA with wine.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Eric, lol, Thanks for visiting.

travmah, Love the garden. Think I must go on the tour.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Bill, I am delighted as always to see you. Sending a friend your way who is interested in publishing a book. I will suggest your other hubs too.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

This looks like a great place to eat and relax. You covered it well.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

What beautiful setting for wine and fine dining. This seems like place no none could get tired of. Thank you so much for the view.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Thank you for this wonderful, enjoyable tour. Your words and beautiful photography transport us there. I can almost smell the fresh herbs from the garden and taste the wines. Voted up and sharing. :-)


LaThing profile image

LaThing 2 years ago from From a World Within, USA

Wonderful article! Sounds like a beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing..... Voted up and useful :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Oh yum! And not too far from me!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

LaThing, Indeed it is a wonderful place to visit.

Audrey we ought to meet for lunch .

Riding there and taking pictures is very therapeutic Genna.

Ms Dora its hard to believe this is the same town I considered the last place in the world I ever wanted to return to when I left at 21, or when we returned when I was 32. Now I know how truly blessed I am.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

What a lovely place! Before I had children, I went to wine tastings at local wineries. It was a lot of fun. And usually the best foods too.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

This winery sounds divine. I like that it has it's own veggie and herb garden. I will have to look for this wine when shopping and certainly look for the winery the next time I am in CA. Thanks for sharing this!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Suzettanaples you won't be disappointed.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

It must be great with all the fresh ingredients. Fine dining is great and relaxing and when you have near and dear ones around, it is great fun. The wine tasting must be awesome. Great review, enjoyed reading!


georgescifo profile image

georgescifo 2 years ago from India

Really looks amazing, Thanks for sharing..


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Vellur great to see you. You would love this place.


ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

This must be such a lovely spot. This part of California is magical, as you pointed out. Voted up and shared.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Olgsinquito, Greetings. Thanks for stopping.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hello Tirelesstraveler, Wente Estates Winery and Restaurant sounds wonderful! I would love to visit there sometime and love California and all the different parts of it. I liked the picture of the herb garden, I wish I had one just like it! A great review, thanks for sharing!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California Author

Oceansnsunsets, I would love the herb garden myself. Have an excellent day.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 16 months ago from Oakley, CA

Well, well, well! Wente Brothers! I remember, as a child, when we would sometimes eat out at a nice restaurant, and my father going over the wine list, and ordering a selection from either Wente or Beringer...and the whole ritual of the waiter pouring first f0r him a small sip for his approval, before filling the glass and then my mother's glass. (Sadly, fine dining is far removed from my budget these days; I can barely manage to feed us at home. )

My folks used to go on wine tours/tastings back in the day, and they weren't so fussy about 'no one under 21 in the tasting room.' I would enjoy the tours, the cool caves, the musty, fruity, and sometimes pungent aromas. But we always headed north, to Sonoma County.

Fast forward to when I had my own kids, and we went camping with friends over at Lake Del Valle...right in that same neighborhood. How funny. I did not realize Wente was in Livermore.

I'm looking at the map you provided, and I recognize the street names from our trips to Del Valle. Just the other side of Vasco Rd., though back in those days, we were coming from the SF side of the Bay....

We must indeed be fairly near neighbors, to share such local knowledge of area features.

Voted up +++


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 16 months ago from California Author

Dzy, We are indeed close neighbors. We should meet and have coffee in Brentwood.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 16 months ago from Oakley, CA

Sounds like a plan to me! ;-)

I'll e-mail you my info.

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