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Updated: Jan 12, 2023


  • Hidden jewel and treasure are words I’ve heard to describe Pendleton winery.

  • Driving to the winery is an adventure. Nothing treacherous but it’s fun to imagine, as you head out there, that you are galavanting around the European wine countryside.

  • Think Austria. Green rolling hills surround the winery. The kind of hills Julie Andrews frolics down while singing ‘the hills are alive!’

  • Located 2,000 feet above Alexander Valley. Getting here is a much needed retreat from civilization.

  • A 20 acre wine growing estate. On the property is the winemaker’s French Style Villa with Air B&B options for guests who want to stay.

  • Seriously, if I didn’t live so close by, I would be staying here for weekend getaways.

  • Pendleton is the NORTHERN MOST winery in Sonoma County.



  • Honestly, I can’t remember….is there even a tasting fee? I don’t think so.

  • If there is a tasting fee it is 100% worth it!

  • Michall, the winemaker, is incredibly down to earth. I get the sense he wants guests to savor his wines.

  • He’s not caught up in expensive barriers that limit people from approaching his wine.

  • Moderately priced wine between $24-$30 considering the fact everything he produces in 100 cases or less.

  • His wine goes fast!


Appointment Needed? 

  • Yes. Essential to make an appointment.

  • Don’t be like me and call the day of…luckily Michall was available.

  • This is the type of wine tasting experience you plan around.

  • Make the appointment. Go around lunch time. Put together a yummy picnic.

  • Possibly consider bringing a swimsuit to enjoy their pool on a nice day.

  • Plan to spend at least an hour and a half here.


Wine Pick

  • I went home with the 2015 Mourvedre.

  • Pendleton produces the only 100% Mourvedre in the entire valley!

  • Such a treasure.

  • I found his Rosé captivating as well. A GSM: Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre.

Dog Approved

  • Yep!

  • The winemaker and his family have two Golden Retrievers.

  • Jackson and Misty Mae!


Social Media Worthy

  • Totally. Vineyard and rolling hill views for days!

  • Need I say more?

  • This is an iconic wine tasting experience:

    • become friends with the winemaker

    • frolic in the vines

    • pose in front of a breathtaking view…

    • This is what everyone envisions when they think of a dreamy wine tasting experience.

Feel Good Vibes

  • The winemaker’s daughter, Leslie, might be your new spirit animal.

  • The girl is an ARTIST!

  • A funky, sassy, colorful, hilarious, whimsical, knock your socks off artist.

  • Her watercolors turn into labels for some of dad’s wine.

  • I purchased some Bad Dog Wine because hello?!?!? My chocolate lab is a total bad dog and needs to pose with the bottle.

  • My boyfriend is not much of a wine lover like me. I kinda dragged him to this tasting.

  • 1) Because I’m horrible with directions and he is my navigating hero.

  • 2) Because a private wine tasting experience is much more fun with a buddy.

  • Low and behold, we step out of the car and the winemaker is wearing a Firefighter T-Shirt.

  • My boyfriend is a firefighter.

  • They had an instant connection and it was fun to hear them shoot the breeze about firefighting.

  • Plus, drinking wine that came from the hands of a former firefighter is special.

  • Michall does everything: vineyard picking, wine making…the only thing he doesn’t do is bottling.


Wine Nerd Facts

  • Hanging out with Michall is like hanging out with the wise Buddha of winemaking.

  • Everything he says about his journey in winemaking is zen-wine poetry.

  • I asked why there are two winged griffins on his wine label. He shares…. Female griffins have wings. One represents his wife and one represents his daughter….he pauses for second, ‘I guess I’m not represented on the label…I’m in the bottle.‘ A twinkle in his eye. Wine Buddha speaks!

  • He taught me all about ‘dropping fruit’.

  • Dropping fruit happens at various stages of the grape growing process. The goal is to harvest the cleanest and highest quality grapes. Dropping grapes must pull on the grower’s heart strings. More grapes can mean more cases of wine produced.

  • Michall wants quality. Michall wants balance.

  • Michall is willing to sacrifice quantity for quality.

  • I swear this is my new metaphor for life.

  • Drop the people, things, commitments, hassles that drag you down. Be the highest version of your self. Wine Buddha strikes AGAIN!

Wine Club? Fun Events?

  • Yes! I would join the wine club!

  • I want to get my hands on Michall’s award winning wines that are not released to the public!

  • Wine shipments are twice a year.

  • Michall’s wine club philosophy is, “This isn’t MY wine club this is YOUR wine club.”

  • What does he mean by that? Club members can have a choice of what they get in their shipment.

  • When there is an event, wine club members are not charged to attend like most wineries.

  • He mentioned a Harvest Party event that happens every year.

  • He likes getting people out in the vineyard to pick a little and taste the fruit coming off the press.

Sheila’s Tasting Notes

  • On a day where your life is off kilter.

  • During a week when everything that could go wrong does go wrong.

  • In a month where you feel frazzled and barely holding it together.

  • Light a candle, grab your coziest blanket, hunker down, and twist open a bottle of Pendleton Wines.

  • An anchor. A rudder. A rock.

  • Knowing that Michall, the wine maker, is at the helm of such exquisite wines will comfort you.

  • A wine that wraps you in reassurance. A family man.

  • A man committed to getting his hands dirty and paying close attention to every wine making detail.

  • A man who oversees with an assured strength.

  • There is nothing you need to worry about or control. He’s got this.

  • Drinking Pendleton wine is your solace.

  • Aromas of wagging golden retriever tails, hints of muddy boots, essence of wine stained hands, flavors of coming back to your own inner balance.

  • Ommmmmm…

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