My family, the Louis M Martini Family, and the Wente Family have done business for decades in the past. The Wentes had a propensity for white wines and my family for reds wines. That concept worked well in distribution from 1945 until 1988 when we went our seperate ways. Despite ending our business relationship on distribution, we still respect and enjoy each other.
Wente is the oldest family winery in California under continuous family management and ownership, now 5th generation, and the forefather of Chardonnay in California. Ernest, 2nd generation, established a clonal garden from wood obtained in 1912 from the University of Montpellier in France and the Gier Vineyard in Pleasanton California.
In 1948 Ernie shared 20 of the clones with Fred McCrea of Stony Hill Winery in Napa Valley. In turn Fred shared these 20 clones in 1952 with my father, Louis P Martini, who planted them in the Carneros on La Loma, our section of the Stanley Ranch. Dr. Olmo of UC Davis studied these clones in all three locations and discovered that the clone that performed the best was the same from each of the different growing areas. This became known as the Wente Clone, forbearer of many of the vineyards of California.