Mother’s Day Wine Pick: Wente Chardonnay

This year, pour Mom what she really wants for Mother’s Day—a knockout Chardonnay from a winemaking family who knows their way around tasteful California wines. Honestly, I haven’t found many Chardonnays that I could rave about. That has all changed… and just in time for Mother’s Day!

Wente Winery Chardonnay wine bottle, wine glass & violet plant on wooden tableWente Vineyards Riva Ranch Vineyard 2017 Chardonnay © Linda Kissam

On a press trip hosted by Visit Tri-Valley and the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, I was introduced to Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Vineyard 2017 Chardonnay (about $20) at the Wente Winery. The wine is a WOW. The winery is gorgeous. Lucky are the moms who find this wine on their patio or dining room table.

Close-up of Wente 2017 Riva Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay wine bottle labelThe winemaker notes describe this single vineyard Chard this way, “The 2017 Riva Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay opens up with layers of tropical fruit and toast, similar to grilled pineapple and graham cracker. The wine has a creamy mouthfeel with a balanced acidity and will continue to evolve as it rests in the bottle.” I would add rich notes of creamy butter, and vanilla with a hint of citrus. Although barrel aged, it certainly is not oaky in any way.

I don’t say this often…but it is perfect in every way. It is the perfect companion to a Mother’s Day meal of grilled chicken and …who knew …asparagus. Follow up with a lemon cheesecake and you’ve hit nirvana. If you are more of a brunch kind of mom, a menu of frittata, pastries, fruit salad and light cheeses comes to mind.

In case you didn’t know, Wente Vineyards is the oldest continuously-operated, family-owned winery in the USA and recognized for their Chardonnay.

The wines are 100% estate grown and sustainably farmed in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations in California. The winery is owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family.

Close-up of 2 vineyard grape vinesLivermore Valley Wine Country © Linda Kissam

You should definitely think about making a visit to the Livermore Wine Country with a stay and foodie indulgence in the Tri-Valley area. Not heard of the Tri-Valley area in California? The Tri-Valley is made up of three valleys that come together to create a unique tourism area that features unique wine, beer, and food venues, as well as many other activities.

The featured cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and the town of Danville, are home to award-winning wineries, deliciously diverse restaurants, brew pubs, authentic dim sum brunch, attractive downtowns and unspoiled hiking trails.

Aloft Hotel EntranceAloft Hotel in Dublin, California

The Tri-Valley area is just 35 miles east of San Francisco. Fly into SFO or OAK or catch the area on your way to or from Yosemite. Think magnificent sunshine, idyllic countryside and small city charm.

For a real treat, stay at the contemporary Aloft Hotel in Dublin.

Central to everything (Bart, Dim-Sum, Wineries and Shopping) this classy hotel runs its rooms via Alexa. Easy breezy commands makes your stay a dream. Forgot toothpaste or napkins? The robot butler will come to your room with whatever you need.

A friendly enthusiastic staff, onsite bar, swimming pool, workout room and tiny cafe and snack bar will fulfill your every need. Uber or Black Tie Transportation (preferred) is at your service to take you (affordably) to anywhere you want to go.

Aloft Hotel Suite
Aloft Hotel Suite

Try one of Linda's favorite sort-of fresh herb frittata recipe that "delivers every time without a lot of fuss and is very forgiving if your refig is low on ingredients... because, as the chef says, 'It's really a method, not a recipe'."  

Find recipe and full article at Food Wine Travel Chix. Originally published May 9, 2019. All photos © Linda Kissam. All rights reserved. 

Blonde woman smiling brightly

Linda Kissam is a professional content creator based out of Southern California. She is the President of this organization (IFWTWA). Through her monthly radio guest spots, food & wine pairing articles, recipe & destination pairings, and story placements in several publications, she reaches up to 3 million readers/listeners nationally with each article. Linda specializes in easy, breezy destination stories focusing on what makes each destination special through it culinary and wine, beer and spirits scene and the soft adventures that surround those pursuits. Learn more about how Linda can promote your destination and get a taste of Linda’s food wine and travel articles, reviews and commentaries here and listen to her podcast, Linda Kissam: Travel Writer Insider 

Why I Joined IFWTWA

"I consider myself an innovator. I enjoy being a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). I love working with an organization that leads the future in the food, wine and travel writing industry. The association’s overall reputation originally drew me in. I’ve now been with IFWTWA for ten years because it is, and continues to be, an industry leader in providing the resources I need to be a professional writer. IFWTWA member's membership includes exceptional networking opportunities, yearly development conferences, domestic and international press trips, the invitation to place articles in our own wildly popular house publication, and the self-confidence to seek out freelance writing jobs."  

—Linda Kissam, IFWTWA President (2015 to 2022)
Food Wine Travel Chix

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