Within the 200-acre working ranch is the Pence Vineyard. Seen from above, it appears as an island on an elevated plateau, which has been slowly eroded over time on all sides and is thus fully exposed to merciless cold ocean winds, morning fog and other Pacific Ocean influences. It is this combination of stressful conditions that provides the character considered essential to making great wines from our location.
Geologically, the land comprises a complex collection of several different virgin soil profiles, including Tierra, Linne and San Andreas Series, all of which are unusually dense and permeated with a variety of rock, calcareous (limestone) material and clay. Because of the nature of its topograhy, there are also several different sun aspects and variable slopes within the vineyard, making the soils all well-drained, but of varying compositions in different locations.
This unique diversity of soil complexity and topography typically reflects that of a much larger geographic area. In effect, the Pence vineyard represents a microcosm of the greater region/appellation that is so rarely seen in just one site. Because of this incredible diversity, the opportunity to create a world class vineyard was readily apparent. Thus, we took every effort to make sure we planted the vineyard block by block, row by row and selection by selection, to capture all the nuances of this unique site.
Wine remains, at its source, a farming activity. We recognize that the potential to create great wines must start from the highest quality fruit and thus are committed to investing in creating the soil conditions and utilizing best growing practices to achieve this fruit quality standard on a consistent basis.
The most complex wines are created from vines grown on slopes and challenged by their environments. Though more expensive to plant and difficult to farm than lowland fruit, the qualitative difference is palpable.
We would like to think that our vineyard blocks were developed in a manner akin to the various tiny appellations within Burgundy, which were painstakingly identified by Cistercian monks over two millennia of trial and error.
Ranging in size from one to four acres each, our blocks are organized according to their geographic locations within the vineyard. They are split into two groups: east and west of the main ranch road; and ascend numerically to the north from the ranch’s southerly border and entrance along Highway 246.