Monday, May 20, 2019

The Pendleton Story

As a winemaker, my passion is to create individually handcrafted wines made in the old world style. I do this by being in the vineyard picking the fruit myself and selecting each and every grape that goes into my wine. My one-man operation crushes the fruit, ferments and then presses the wine into barrels.

Blending the wine is my favorite part! It is where the real artistry comes into play—tasting out of each barrel and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I make less than 800 cases of award-winning wines each year.

I have had the distinct honor of being a recipient of 84 awards out of 89 wines that I have entered in prestigious wine competitions.

My love of wine started in the '80s. My wife launched a catering company in the early '90s that lasted through 2002. This helped to educate my palate in pairing food with wine. Being in wine country and doing events at some of the best wineries gave me the opportunity to learn more about making wine. The passion of some winemakers rubbed off so much that I worked for free from 1994 through 2003, learning everything from the ground up. I loved being very hands-on, and this continues today.

The Pendleton Estate Vineyards were planted in March of 2005 with one-year old vines. The winery was founded on Oct 18, 2005, along with the birth of our first child Leslie Fay.

Each one of my wines is unique. That’s because it’s not about making the wine I love, it’s about making the wine that you will love. This allows me the flexibility to use different components in the process that large wineries would never do because they make what sells the best and the fastest.

I like to come up with different blends like my 2009 Zinvedre (50% Zinfandel and 50% Mourvedre) and my 2008 Celebration Cuvee (25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Zinfandel, 30% Petite Sirah, 15% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petite Verdot).

I love getting out in the vineyard a few weeks before everyone else and just picking the fruit that is the ripest at that time and going back through maybe three or four times. This allows me the ability to make small lots with different alcohol levels and then to blend those back, making for a truly great wine.

I make wine one bottle at a time. Enjoy! 

Michall Pendleton
Owner and Winemaker


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