Hundreds of California wineries host corporate and social events in their tasting rooms, on their lawns, or in their wine caves or cellars. But actual sit-down meeting spaces with internet and A/V services are few and far between, which is only part of what makes Wente Vineyards—the oldest family-owned, continuously operated winery in the state—unique.
Known throughout the Bay Area as one of the region’s top outdoor summer concert venues (James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Jackson Browne and Lynyrd Skynyrd have been headliners at the 1,700-capacity site), Wente attracts corporate groups with additional amenities that include three meeting spaces, an 18-hole, Greg Norman-designed golf course and an acclaimed restaurant with three private dining rooms. Its location in Livermore, part of the verdant Tri-Valley region east of San Francisco, is both refreshingly rural and convenient to the Bay Area.
“We’re a kind of escape location, it’s a very unplugged environment,” says Heather Jones, catering sales director for the company.
Meeting spaces in the landmark Cresta Blanca Event Center, a Spanish-revival style structure dating back to the late 1800s, include a reception room that can accommodate 150 seated and two smaller venues seating 100 theater-style and 20 in theater or classroom configuration, respectively. Just outside, the Terrace Lawn, which doubles as the concert venue/event space, is a versatile setting for corporate events that can handle 1,000 guests at table rounds. Corporate groups can also purchase sponsor and VIP tables at concert events, and many do, Jones says.
The award-winning Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, known for alfresco seating on an expansive veranda, also offers private dining rooms seating 10 to 50, while the nearby Historic Sandstone Caves provide intimate, candlelit options for up to 60 guests. A tasting room and The Grill at the adjacent golf course also are available for private functions. Parties looking for a truly intimate and private venue can rent Murrieta’s Well, a neighboring historic winery that recently underwent a $4 million renovation and offers a vineyard patio and rustic barrel room that can comfortably seat up to 110.