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Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir

At Pence, we only grow our Pinot Noir in the deepest, richest clay soils and on blocks with southerly and westerly sun aspects. We believe these conditions to be ideal for the development of the fickle Pinot grape into a rich, delicious wine with great fruit intensity and balanced tannins.

Our Pinot Noir is carefully sorted in the field by our own full-time crew prior to harvest, resulting in a level of fruit quality that is unmatched in the Santa Rita Hills AVA. The grapes are hand-picked at night into small baskets rather than dumped into macro bins as is standard practice at other vineyards.

All lots remain carefully segregated and are individually fermented on native yeast, with nearly all fruit destemmed to deliver the purity unique to our vineyard. Following Burgundian tradition, we use custom built, four-ton concrete fermenters that are neither lined inside nor jacketed outside, allowing the fermentation to proceed at nature’s pace rather than a winemaker’s program. Pressing is extremely gentle and the very little of the pressed wine is used in our Estate wines. Elevage occurs in a minimum of 30% new French oak for another twelve to fifteen months.

As with our Chardonnays, these Pinot Noirs will age gracefully for many years, especially the Penny Labels, which have the density of fruit and structure to last a very long time.

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Penny Pinot Noir

Unum Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir

Sourced from our oldest vines and encompassing only two acres of Dijonnaise clone 667, this block enjoys a sunny, southern-facing orientation on rich clay—a recipe for fruit that over-achieves qualitatively. The dense clay soils contribute a luxuriousness and roundness to the wine.It is weighty and substantial on the palate with a broad, deep and long finish. The concentration of this wine means Unum can be enjoyed now with more complex Pinot Noir-friendly dishes, but it will definitely reward further aging.

Latin for “one,” we used the name Unum for the first vineyard block planted at Pence Vineyards. The image is taken from the obverse side of the Fugio coin, and we appreciate this symmetry of symbolizing both Unum’s proximity to and its distinct differences from Fugio, which grows only a couple hundred yards away.

The thirteen circles representing the original American colonies, linked together in the new republic, also became the inspiration for the Pence Vineyards & Winery logo.

2021 Unum Pinot Noir
Pick date: 8/30
Brix: 24.9
Acidity: 5.4 g/L
PH: 3.69
Barrel protocols: 100% destemmed, fermented in open top concrete, aged in 228 L. barrique,

Fugio Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir

The Fugio Pinot Noir comes from a block of cane-pruned Pommard situated on some of our steepest slopes and characterized by dense clay soils. The skins of the Fugio grapes tend to thicken and express more tannin, primarily due to the significant winds that blow through the block’s east-west oriented rows.

Recognizing this quality, we encourage further tannin development by employing whole cluster fermentation for this particular Pinot Noir, making it unique within our Estate offerings. As a result, Fugio shows a wilder side that many Pinotphiles enjoy, displaying gamey and tactile sensory characters that pair extraordinarily well with heartier dishes.

In 1787, the U.S. government issued the first official American penny, designed by Benjamin Franklin. Known as the Fugio cent, it features the image of a sundial and the message, “Mind your business.” Together, these are interpreted by historians to mean: “Time flies; take care of your business.” Franklin’s deliberate double-entendre of minding your business, both financially and socially, captures our motivation to focus on our own vineyard to produce the finest wines we can.

2021 Fugio Pinot Noir
Pick date 9/8 (pdc) full pick 9/14
Brix 23.3
Acidity 5.6 g/L
PH 3.75
Barrel protocols: Destemmed pied de cuve, 100% whole clusters added later, fermented in concrete open top tanks, aged in 20% new 228 L. barriques

Heritage Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir

Heritage Pinot Noir is the result of painstaking farming of one of our first heritage clones, Mount Eden, which we planted in 2007. The clonal selection stems from its namesake vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, planted in 1943 by Martin Ray with cuttings taken from Paul Masson’s La Cresta vineyard, itself planted in 1895–1896 with cuttings said to have been brought straight from Burgundy.

Deep ruby red, this wine is dense with aromatics of tart cherry, cranberry, tobacco and sandalwood. A soft mouthfeel and savory juiciness enhance it to completion, making it perhaps our most balanced Pinot in terms of flavor and mouthfeel.

Our Heritage label is inspired by the original Great Seal, which features an unfinished, thirteen-layered pyramid representing the original thirteen U.S. states, all overseen by the Eye of Providence. It reminds us that our work is never done, that we must continually strive to improve both our farming and winemaking, and thus our wines.

2021 Heritage Pinot Noir
Pick date: 9/4 (pdc) full pick 9/9
Brix: 22.3
Acidity: 5.4 g/L
PH: 3.80
Barrel protocols: Destemmed pied de cuve, 100% whole clusters added later, fermented in concrete open top tanks, aged in 15% new 228 L. barriques

Détente Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir

For several years, our adjacent plantings of the French Dijon clone 115 and the first UC Davis clone, Pommard, have impressed us by producing delicious fruit that added great depth and character to our estate wines. As the vines have matured, their uniqueness has become more pronounced.

Given they were both planted the same year, and their soils, row orientation and sun aspects were essentially the same, we were curious to see how the fruit from these two parcels might integrate after fifteen years of vine age. The result was fantastic, and Détente was achieved! This blend of adjacent blocks strengthens our belief that while it admittedly takes time, terroir eventually trumps clonal differences.

Détente features a coin face with the busts of Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon, minted in 1903 to commemorate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The historical significance of this transaction is not just the magnitude of lands involved; it also avoided a major conflict between nations, hence the name Détente.

2021 Détente Pinot Noir- Pommard and 115
Pick date: 8/31
Brix: 23.2
Acidity: 5.1 g/L
PH: 3.68
Barrel protocols: 100% Destemmed, fermented in concrete open top tanks, aged in 10% new 228 L. barriques

Estate Pinot Noir

Estate Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir

Our Estate Pinot Noir represents the essence of our sustainably farmed vineyards, with grapes sourced from multiple blocks occupying varying orientations. It combines the character of several clones, both Dijon and Heritage, all rooted in our signature rich clay soils.

The Estate Pinot Noir is blended as an approachable, generous wine and intended to over-deliver for its price. At the same time, this wine retains the seriousness of its underlying terroir with great elegance, depth and character.

Our Estate Pinot Noir will easily age for at least a decade, continuing to evolve and take on greater complexity as it matures.

2021 Estate Pinot Noir
Pick date: 9/10
Brix:  24.1
Acidity: 5.5 g/L
PH: 3.74
Barrel protocols: Fermented in concrete and stainless open top tanks, aged in neutral 228 L. barriques

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DESIGN: Pembroke Studios
PHOTOGRAPHY: George Rose |  Carroll Creative