Wendling Vineyard has come to be known as one of the most coveted – and daunting – Pinot Noir sites in all of California. Here, on the cusp of the Pacific Ocean west of Philo, the environment dictates a slower pace for owner and vineyard manager Paul Ardzrooni. The challenges are many in this wild expanse, as extremely steep terrain obviates the use of machinery for most farming tasks. The foggy climate is damp and there are fewer growing degree-days here than nearly anywhere on the West Coast, resulting in small berries and modest yields. Yet in Paul’s experienced hands, this exceptional site has earned a stellar reputation. The superlative mix of clones on these 20 acres results in high-toned Pinot Noir with lifted aromatics, layers of fruit and defined structure. The 2020 vintage is an unmistakably cool-climate offering, and reveals the wine’s distinctly Californian profile with concentrated intensity and a precision that has become the benchmark of Pinot Noir grown on this rugged frontier.