The revamp of what was once known as The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards on Arroyo Road is nearly complete, with an official launch date of June 29 just announced. The Arroyo Road property has been under extensive revision for some months. PR and marketing firm AfCo, says the property has been transformed into what is now called The Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge. Billed as offering “social and sharable wine country cuisine,” the property now boasts a new wine lounge featuring flexible seating areas indoors and out. The revised concept is intended to reflect the entire Wente Vineyards experience, from their sustainable estate grown wines to their hospitality. Gardener Diane Dovholuk remains in place, as does sommelier, Jorge Tinoco, and GM Caitlin Bolin.
Looking back at the debut of The Restaurant back in 1986, it was Carolyn Wente’s vision that drove the olucreation of a dining experience in the vineyards, where guests could enjoy warm hospitality, deepen their enjoyment of wine and food while surrounded by family and friends. Some 33 years later, Carolyn collaborated with her fifth-generation family members to reimagine how food and wine could come together to create a fresh, new and more inclusive dining destination.
Although the restaurant has undergone many tweaks and wholesale menu changes over the decades, this sequel will introduce a more modern, approachable format, that encourages frequent visitation, and is not limited to special occasion dining. Gone are the white tablecloths and more formal dining offering of yore, as a more casual, informal and convivial atmosphere takes the fore.
“We put a lot of energy into growing our grapes and producing our wines. We wanted to put that same passion into the Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge,” says Niki Wente, Fifth Generation Winegrower & Viticulturist. “With the transformation of the restaurant, we wanted to update the overall food and wine experience for guests, elevating the way guests enjoy our wines and farm-to-table fare.”
The Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge menu will emphasize seasonality and shareable plates, large and small, that pair seamlessly with Wente Vineyards’ selection of wines offered by the glass or bottle. The menu will change frequently to take advantage of ingredients at their peak and tap into Wente Vineyards’ resources including their estate beef program and organic garden, as well as local farms and vendors from the region.
The menu will feature many bites and small plates.
Guests will have a variety of experiences to choose from including flights at the wine tasting bar to bottles and shareable plates on the patio, and full dinner service in the main dining room. Private dining and event spaces can accommodate parties of 12 to 50 guests, with staff to help plan and execute events throughout the year.
For now, the new Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge will be open Wednesday through Sunday, from 11—8pm, with the kitchen opening at noon, and flights of wine being served from 11—5pm.
For more information including hours and days of operation, please visit WenteVineyards.com/dine.
Update on The Entertainment Club
In addition to the total renovation of the Restaurant at Wente, other changes are afoot as well, notably the retirement of the Entertainment Club. This is a communication that was sent out in early April to members:
“In March we announced The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards would close temporarily for a refresh of the space and a reimagination of the experience. As a part of this overall change, we will also be ending the Entertainment Club at the end of the year. For the remainder of the year, even if your Entertainment Club membership expires prior to December 31, 2019, many benefits will remain available.
“When the new wine and food experience opens, slated for June, we will not be able to provide the wine benefits that were previously available at The Restaurant due to the change in concept. We will be providing priority access to exclusive opening events and other special opportunities to join us at the new experience throughout the summer. Additionally, there will be a special, Entertainment Club member promotional offer to join a Wente Wine Club during the summer of 2019 in order for you to continue receiving many of these and additional benefits past 2019.”
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