Between the Vines is a biweekly column on wine and wine making in the Livermore Valley region. This column was contributed by Philip Wente, a founder of Murrieta's Well.
Winery name: Murrieta's Well
Founders: Philip Wente and Sergio Traverso
About us: In the 1880s, Louis Mel fell in love with the Livermore Valley and bought the 92-acre property that locals affectionately called "Murrieta's Well." He built a gravity-flow winery into the hillside and planted cuttings imported from the renowned Château d'Yquem and Château Margaux wineries in France.
In the 1930s, second-generation winegrower Ernest Wente bought the property from Louis Mel.
In 1990, I (fourth-generation winegrower and Ernest Wente's grandson Philip Wente,) formed a partnership with Sergio Traverso, a well-known Livermore Valley winemaker, to resurrect Murrieta's Well.
Our winery name comes from the legend of Joaquin Murrieta, an outlaw and local hero during the Gold Rush era. Legend has it that Murrieta was the first to discover the beauty and magic of an artisan well bubbling up from the floor of the Livermore Valley.
Our wines: All of our wines are 100 percent estate-grown from the Wente Family Estates vineyards in the Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco. We are known for our Bordeaux-Style blends, including The Spur, which recently received 90 points from Wine
Prices: Our least expensive wine is The Whip, a sophisticated yet approachable blend of white grapes. The blend changes every vintage and is the top-selling white wine in our tasting room. The retail price is $20 per bottle. Our most expensive bottle is the Red Meritage under our Small Lot label, Los Tesoros. The retail price is $68. Discounts are available to Silver Spur club members
Special features: Our historic tasting room is handicap-accessible. We have banquet facilities and host weddings and private events.
From May to October we hold our popular La Luna events in which guests get to wine and dine under the moonlight. Join us for an evening of tapas, live music and wines on the terrace of our historic winery. The cost is $50 per person, $40 for club members. Reservations are required.
Hours & tasting fee: Our tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily from May through October and Wednesdays through Sundays from November through April. We are open all year (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Tours are available upon request.
Location: 3005 Mines Road, Livermore, CA 94550. Exit off Vasco Road on Interstate 580 and head south to Tesla Road and turn right. Turn left on Mines Road.
Livermore Valley wine country events