The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 48 of 140

COVER STORY Model H Role A VINTNER OF MANY TALENTS, CAROLYN WENTE IS SECOND TO NONE WHEN IT COMES TO RUNNING A FAMILY WINE EMPIRE by Deborah Parker Wong / photos by Hardy Wilson arvest has kicked off at Wente Family Estates, and as the fi rst Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio grapes of the 2012 vintage made their way to the crusher, Carolyn Wente marked another of many fi rsts for her family's winery: the implementation of a proprietary enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. But that's all in day's work for this busy wine executive. As the Chief Executive Offi cer of a company that occupies a historical place in the industry, one that has fl ourished since 1883, Wente keeps a steady hand on the reins and a keen eye on consumer behavior. "A large part of our success over the years," says the CEO, "is that we've been able to see where the consumer is going." While she attributes the company's recent successes to the cohesive efforts of her leadership team and the talents and visibility of the family's fi fth generation—her nephew Karl and niece Christine—she approaches her vital role in charting the company's future one day at a time. "There isn't one day that's like another," says Wente who tackles any challenge, in the winery or on the golf course, head on. High-Profi le Partnerships In guiding the success of the winery's recent collaboration with the Food Network in producing entwine, a California appellation brand that was launched in August of last year, Wente embraced the project as a point of research that allowed her to step back and gather perspec- tive on consumers and the industry as a whole. "Wente and the Food Network both fi t the trust model," she says. "Consumers are looking to the Food Network to tell them what's good, and their confi dence in our brands and in California wine is at an all time high." entwine has already racked up some impressive numbers. It was ranked the 19th brand nationally by Symphony IRI data within just 52 weeks of its release, and by May of 2012 the industry's second-fastest- growing table wine. "We're just scratching the surface with brands like entwine that consumers trust to over-deliver for the price," says Wente. The company will focus on expanding points of distribution for the brand and continue to energize and educate consumers about wine in 48 / the tasting panel / october 2012

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - October 2012