Friday, October 21, 2016

Murrieta’s Well renovated, retaining the historic character with enhanced tasting experience

This year Murrieta’s Well, one of California’s original wine estates in the Livermore Valley, experienced an eight-month renovation project with the goal of providing an enhanced visitor experience, yet still retain the historic nature of the winery. 

Murrieta's Well
As many of us have seen before, renovations to modernize a facility often results in a loss of its unique heritage.  Wente Vineyards and Murrieta’s Well did an excellent job in this renovation featuring expanded exterior tasting areas created to enhance the overall experience for Murrieta’s Well Wine Club members and guests. This includes the Club Lounge – located upstairs and available exclusively to wine club members, as well as an outdoor patio space located downstairs. Inside, the tasting bar was completely redesigned – maintaining the refined rustic charm of the original estate enhanced by more modern design elements. Guests can also enjoy sweeping views of the estate from the tasting bar’s balcony overlook.  Also a demonstration vineyard has been planted.
Wine Club Member Lounge

In addition, a full service kitchen was added, where the Wente culinary team creates seasonal small plates to accompany the Murrieta’s Well wine portfolio. Food selections are available to order in both the Club Lounge and Patio.

Wente CEO Carolyn Wente and
Murrieta's Well Winemaker Robbie Meyer
“We’re thrilled to unveil renovations to the historic Murrieta’s Well tasting room,” said Carolyn Wente, Fourth Generation Winegrower and CEO of Wente Family Estates. “These renovations not only enhance the visitor experience, but better represent the profound connection between the wines and the estate. Our wines reflect the best of our estate each vintage, so we created a superior tasting experience that complements what’s in the bottle. Our goal is to inspire guests to think about where our grapes are grown, and help them to experience that connection when they visit the Murrieta’s Well property.”

The historic tasting room was originally constructed as a gravity flow winery in 1884 by pioneering winemaker Louis Mel. Later that year, Mel planted the property’s first vines with cuttings from famed Chateaux d’Yquem and Margaux, and descendants of these vines continue to grow on the 500 acre estate today.  Murrieta’s Well has been part of the Wente family since Louis Mel sold the property to his friend Ernest Wente in 1930.

Winemaker Robbie Meyer
Led by acclaimed winemaker Robbie Meyer, Murrieta’s Well produces premium estate small lot wines sourced exclusively from the estate. Dedicated to small lot winegrowing and winemaking, Meyer crafts wines that are a beautiful survey of the estate each vintage.  In previous articles this reporter has noted that Robbie probably has the best winemaker job in the valley.  The two most popular wines are creative blends, The Whip, a white wine blend, and The Spur, a red wine blend.  I picture the winemaker in his lab, like a chef in the kitchen, adding a dash of this, a pinch of that until the result matches their goal.  The Whip is composed of great collection of varietals on the estate, including Semillon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Orange Muscat, Muscat Canelli and Viognier.  This easy drinking wine has won many awards.  The equivalent red wine blend, The Spur, is created with Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec.  The rest of the Murrieta’s Well collection small lot limited production wines calling upon the wide variety of unique varietals found on the estate.  Robbie and his team work their magic to produce great wines.  And all of this unique style has the backing of the largest winery in the area, Wente Vineyards.
Murrieta’s Well is open to the public, with regular tasting hours seven days a week.  For more information, including how to book an appointment, visit

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