Justin Harmon joins Pfendler Vineyards as Winemaker
(October 30, 2017)—Kimberly Pfendler, founder and owner of Pfendler Vineyards, a producer of estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from the Sonoma Coast's Petaluma Gap, has announced today that Justin Harmon has joined Pfendler Vineyards as winemaker.
Best known as the owner and winemaker for Argot Wines, Justin specializes in vineyard-driven Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah wines from Sonoma County. As a close friend and mentee of Pfendler's founding winemaker, Greg Bjornstad, Justin has had extensive exposure to Pfendler wines over the past decade, tasting each vintage from barrel and bottle. Greg Bjornstad will continue to support Pfendler's vineyard management by providing data-based grape growing context through eVit, his viticulture database software startup.
"Pfendler Vineyards has always made elegant wines that put the vineyard first," says Justin. "I am thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside Kimberly and make wine from her incredible property. Pfendler's three estate vineyards are located on the west facing slopes of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap, with locations spanning from the top of the mountain to its base. The vineyards are challenging due to their dramatic hillside geography and the cool climate; however, they offer a beautiful expression of fruit and freshness."
A chemical engineer graduate from University of Pennsylvania, Justin's winemaking training began in his hometown of Chicago, where an obsession and curiosity for wine inspired him to study enology textbooks published by UC Davis, while also fermenting wines in his basement. After traveling to Sonoma County to work as a harvest intern for two vintages, he established Argot in 2007 from just a single ton of crushed Syrah. In 2011, he relocated to Santa Rosa to pursue winemaking full-time.
"I've been a big a fan of Justin's elegant approach to winemaking, and am thrilled to have him oversee winemaking for Pfendler Vineyards," says Kimberly.
About Pfendler Vineyards
Pfendler Vineyards was founded by Kimberly Pfendler in 2007 with the goal of making world-class, elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from her family's mountain property in the Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast AVA.
Kimberly's late husband, Peter Pfendler, planted the family's first vineyards in 1992, and went on to plant over 200 acres including the very first vineyards in the Petaluma Gap's Crown. Pfendler currently farms 19 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on three estate vineyards in the emerging Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast AVA. The vineyards extend from the top of the Pfendler mountain ranch to its base, allowing a tremendous variety of sun and foggy climates to produce a broad range of flavors, resulting in elegant and beautifully complex wine.
For more information about Pfendler Vineyards, please visit www.pfendlervineyards.com.