Now you can indulge that passion at The Winemakers Studio, located at the HQ of my podcast sponsor, Wente Vineyards, in California’s Livermore Valley.
To learn more, I welcome back Carolyn Wente, CEO and Fourth Generation Winegrower, to the show for a chat about this cool new spot for the wine-curious. So what can you expect to encounter at The Winemakers Studio?
Well one of your options is to partake in the Winemakers Blending Experience. Mix it up with four barrels of Wente Cabernet Sauvignon, each from a different site. You get to sample how different vineyards produce different flavors (and other components) that contribute to what you experience in the glass.
If that’s not enough, Wente also has Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot on hand for your experimenting pleasure. What does a splash of Petit Verdot do to your Cabernet? Find out! Make One Blend To Rule Them All. (That would be YOURS!)
But it’s not all glass beakers and graduated cylinders. (Sorry.) There are also education stations throughout the studio. For example, you might get some insight on how different levels of toast (not the whole wheat kind) on an oak barrel affect a wine’s flavor. Or feel a swatch of silk fabric to understand what it means when someone (like me) calls a Pinot Noir “silky”. (My request for a silk robe to wear to truly appreciate the texture of Pinot Noir was respectfully considered. And denied. OK, I made that up.)
But maybe you’ve arrived The Winemakers Studio and are not recognizing some of the things exactly as I’ve described above? Do not fear. And do not blame me. See, just like at a winery and in a vineyard, things aren’t static in the studio. The season dictates the activities taking place. Your visit one month may be different than the next. And that’s a good thing. One of the guiding principles at The Winemakers Studio? “Keep it fresh, keep it changing,” explains Carolyn.
She continues, “You really get to understand the decisions that a winemaker and a grape grower have to make throughout the year.”
So what’s the goal of The Winemakers Studio in a nutshell? Or rather, a tiny oak barrel? Lest you think it’s too serious, Carolyn sums it up:
“Learning and having fun while you do it.”
Listen to the show:
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And, hey! Carolyn and I also had a great talk about the history of Chardonnay in California, and Wente’s significant role: