Eric Wente, chairman of Wente Family Estates, is stepping down as of 1 January. A generational change in the company’s management will take place in April 2021.

3. March 2021, Livermore, CA – Wente Family Estates today announced the appointment of new executives for America’s oldest continuously operated family winery, which celebrates its 138th anniversary in 2021.  Eric Wente will serve as President Emeritus. This is the next step in his 43-year tenure supporting the fifth-generation family business, which has included positions from winemaker and production manager to president, general manager and chief executive officer of Wente Family Estates.  I have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of our multi-generational family business, including succession planning.  Despite the global and local challenges we all face, it validates the work we have done and our vision for the future as we move from the fourth generation of leaders to the fifth.  I am confident that this new management team will be able to deliver on our vision as we navigate and shape our business in the new paradigm that is emerging under the influence of Covid.

Carolyn Wente, left; and Tyson Overton, right.

Eric’s successor as president will be Carolyn Wente. Carolyn joined the company in 1980 and worked alongside her two brothers, Eric and Philip (Vice President).  Carolyn began her career in sales and marketing, creating and managing the Wente Vineyards company and developing the Wente Family Estates brand portfolio over the past 40 years.  She became president in 1995 and in 2008 became the family’s first female CEO.  During her 13 years as Interim President, Carolyn created a sustainable vision for the company, focusing on wholesale success, customer experience, continuous improvement of systems and operations, and a culture of innovation. I am pleased to support and guide this leadership change of the fifth generation of the Wente family estate.  It is a team of exceptionally knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated leaders who will achieve our strategic vision and mission.  Personally, I am looking forward to this new phase of leadership in my career and hope to ensure continuity and success with our internal team and our external partners.

Tyson Overton will be the CEO. Tyson joined Wente Family Estates in 2014 to lead the sales organization. Most recently, as Director of Sales and Marketing, he was responsible for increasing the market share of Wente Family Estates. Tyson has proven to be a successful leader.  After several years of steady growth in revenue, volume and share of the company’s wholesale business, he supported the team through a challenging and unprecedented 2020 and led the team to exceeding the company’s profit goals, contributing to the success of the entire organization. As CEO, Tyson will be part of a management team that will include family members and key leaders in human resources, sales, operations, finance, marketing and information technology. He is the second non-family member to help lead the company at a major turning point in its growth and strategy.

Tyson has ten years of experience at E. & J. Gallo Winery, where he held various sales and marketing positions focused on domestic and export markets.  He has also worked outside the industry as Vice President of Marketing at UnitedHealthcare and most recently as Vice President of International Affairs at 5.11 Tactical, where he led the expansion of the international division.  He has worked closely with Carolyn Wente since she joined the company and is a key member of the management team. Tyson embodies the company’s core values: Respect, integrity, sustainability and excellence, Carolyn adds. He is a very efficient leader with a long experience in the wine industry and is highly respected.   I look forward to Tyson leading the team to take Wente Family Estates to new heights.

I am excited about the momentum we are building for our brands and businesses within Wente Family Estates, and I am equally excited about the direction we are taking as an organization.  I am honored to support our continued success as a team and continue the family’s vision, said Mr. Overton. Today, eight members of the fourth and fifth generations run the company in various capacities under the leadership of Carolyn Wente. Together, the family team strives to position the Wente family estate as the most respected family vineyard in the world. The family tour includes all 4. Winemaker generation Carolyn Wente, President Emeritus, Eric Wente, Vice President Phil Wente, Chief Operating Officer and 5th generation Chief Winemaker Carl D. Wente, Wente Arts Education Foundation President Christine Wente, Marketing Director Ali Wente, Viticulture Director Nicky Wente and Viticulture Project Manager Jordan Wente.

About the family property Sale

Wente Family Winery was founded by Charles H. Wente, who came to California as an immigrant 138 years ago.  The company’s portfolio includes the Wente Vineyards, Murrieta’s Well, Hayes Ranch, Ravel & Stitch, enwine, Angels Ink, Unsullied and Double Decker brands. The winery uses certified sustainable vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay Area and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to produce an exceptional selection of delicious wines that are distributed in all 50 states and more than 70 countries around the world.  In 2010, it ranked among the top 5% of California wineries at all three levels of certified organic winemaking in California. In 2011, Wente Family Estates was named American Wine of the Year by . 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of Wente Family Estates. This is the second time the Wente family has brought chardonnay cuttings from France to California. Today, Chardonnay Wente clones are the most common in California.

Wente Family Estates is among the top 30 wineries in the United States in terms of production and distribution.  The winery has a dynamic domestic trade and an important share of the wine export market, where its wines have enjoyed international recognition for decades. Wente Family Estates is also a major exporter, selling wines in 75 countries around the world.

Located east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Wineries is known as one of the best wine regions in California. In 2018, the winery took a leadership role in its long-standing mission to inspire employees and guests to take time for what really matters. This has been achieved thanks to Wente Vineyards’ best practices, exceptional wines and wine country expertise. For more information, see www.wentevineyards.com.

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