The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 44 of 152

RECOGNITIONS Fifth Generation Winemaker Karl Wente blasts his way out of a sand trap on the back nine, with Wente Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards providing a backdrop for the action. On Course Vineyards at Wente DRIVING SUCCESS AT WENTE FAMILY ESTATES' THIRD ANNUAL NORCAL REGIONAL ACCOUNTS TOURNEY C M Y by Deborah Parker Wong / photos by Scott Peterson W Wente's NCRA top-performing foursome (left to right): The Shake Group's Gianni Avila, Manager of the Grotto Market; Skipolini owner Kent Ipsen with CFO Craig Johnson (seated); and the Shake Group's Dave Muller, Bar Manager for Fisherman's Grotto. Wente's Marc Gutierrez, SWS Thomas Koehorst, Piatti's John Perkins and Tom Hanson of Pacific Catch ready to tee off. ith the company's emphasis on quality, Wente Family Estates' brand portfolio has realized double-digit growth over the last several years. Foursomes of invitees gathered to mark that milestone on a crisp morning in late August. "We're out on the course today acknowledging our regional accounts and team members for a very strong first half for 2013," said Marc Gutierrez, Northwest Sales Director for Wente Family Estates. Gutierrez, along with, Chief Marketing Officer Amy Hoopes joined father and son Eric and Karl Wente in hosting the company's third annual recreational tournament, designed both as an appreciation and a picture-perfect snapshot of the estate just days away from the onset of harvest. The tournament players included owners and managers from some of the region's top multiple-unit, on-premise accounts: Bovis Group, Fats, Pacific Catch, Pasta's, Piatti, The Shake Group, Skipolini's, Spinnaker Group and ResMex, along with account executives Jeff Bense, Thomas Koehorst, John Johnson and Eric Levy from Southern Wine & Spirits, who warmed up on the driving range before heading out en masse for a shotgun start. "Until you've played a round on The Course at Wente Vineyards, you haven't really seen the beauty of the estate," said Gutierrez. Designed by Greg "The Shark" Norman, the par-72 course is challenging (it has a slope rating of 145 from the back tees), with a dramatic front nine that runs down towards the valley floor between vineyard lots and rises again into the steep, undulating foothills along the back nine before leveling off again on the approach towards the clubhouse. While good will was the only prize for winning the tournament, three top performing accounts—Fisherman's Grotto, Patxi's and Skipolini's— were rewarded at the 18th hole with etched three-liter bottles for their over-achieving ssales of Wente Family Estates brands CM MY CY CMY K 44  /  the tasting panel  / november 2013 TP1113_034-65.indd 44 10/24/13 8:25 PM

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