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"This is a new estate (2010 was their first release and they have additional plantings of Chardonnay just now coming online) and they’re one to keep on your radar." Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate #208, August 2013
Pence Ranch is a 200 acre working ranch in Santa Barbara established by Blair Pence. He began planting in 2006 after researching the various terroirs on his property. As a result each of the 15 different blocks has clones chosen to best express the individual properties of that spot. The blocks (ranging in size from 1-4 acres) are comprised mostly of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Gamay.
Respected vintner Sashi Moorman makes the wines and they reflect his penchant for producing elegant and balanced wines. Restrained but never austere these wines showcase his exemplary handling of Burgundian grapes to express the singular terroirs of California.
They use only native yeast fermentation for both the Pinot Noirs and the Chardonnays and minimal new oak treatments. The Pinot Noirs are fermented in four ton open top concrete tanks and they include a certain percentage of whole cluster- depending on what the vintage gives them. They are aged in 20% new French oak for 9-15 months. The Chardonnays are barrel fermented in 15% new French oak barrels ranging in size from 59-400 gallons. They don’t stir the lees and after complete malo-lactic fermentation, they remain in barrel for 9-12 months.