Family vineyard named US winery of the year

By Giulia Cambieri

Patience is something many family businesses have, Sonepar chairwoman and chief executive Marie-Christine Coisne-Roquette, recently told CampdenFB. Maybe this is why many family-controlled companies are doing well in the wine industry, a sector in which persistence is certainly required.

One family business that has benefited from being patient and taking a long-term view is the Wente Family Estate, a Californian vineyard, which traces its roots back to the 1800s. It was recently named 2011 American Winery of the Year by US magazine Wine Enthusiast.

"This really is such a wonderful acknowledgement and recognition for the five generations of my family who have remained committed to the wine business,” said Carolyn Wente, chief executive of the vineyard, who works alongside her brothers, niece and nephew in the business.

“We have built on the foundation laid by my great-grandfather, Carl Wente, who came to this country as an immigrant in the late 19th century," she added in a statement.

It's not the first accolade the Wente family has received in recent years. In 2010, the Livermore Valley-based winery won the lifetime achievement award at the California State Fair and was also named winery of the year by the California Travel Industry Association.