That Livermore’s Wente Vineyards makes first-class wines is a given.
But the oldest, continuously operating family-owned winery in the United States makes so much more on its 2,000 acres in Livermore, as I found out when I was I was invited for a tour recently.
Extra virgin olive oil. Herbs, fruits and veggies galore grown in its own garden. And even beef.
Yes, The Restaurant at Wente gets 12 steer a year from its own herd that graze on the hillsides. Like Japan’s famed Wagyu, these Black Angus cows get some special treatment, too: two glasses of its Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon daily for the last 90 days of their life.
“We don’t get them drunk,” Wente Chef Mike Ward says with a chuckle. “It helps them metabolize food better so they can eat more.”