What’s going on at Clos Pepe? Is it true the vineyard was sold? How about the Estate wines and Axis Mundi? How about the producers of Clos Pepe Vineyard Designates? What happens to the Wine Club?
- Clos Pepe Vineyards has not been sold. It is still owned by Steve and Cathy Pepe and has been leased for 15 years to Hall/Walt Wines of Saint Helena, CA. This means that Hall/Walt will be farming the vineyard for the next 15 years and adding our Estate sections to their own production. Hall/Walt has kindly allowed our contracted producers: AP Vin, Loring Wine Company, Liquid Farm and Siduri to continue receiving grapes under contract. We are thrilled that such a quality-minded brand such as Walt/Hall will be continuing the tradition of what we think is the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Vineyard in the Central Coast! Steve and Cathy have decided to take a proper and relaxing retirement, and we wish them all the best.
- Clos Pepe Estate and Axis Mundi Wines will continue to be promoted and supported by Andrew Turner, but we have ceased production after bottling the delicious and balanced 2014 vintage. We expect the demand for our last wines will be high, so we suggest filling the cellar while these wines still exist in the market.
- The Clos Pepe Estate Wine Club (Pinot Noir only) deserves the best wines and the highest level of customer service as always. We plan to continue shipments of the Wine Club until our last bottles of Pinot Noir find forever homes like well-bred puppies. Expect the same concierge-level of service and some delicious and rare pinot noirs to arrive on a regular basis! At this point, there's no way to say how many more wine club shipments there will be.
Clos Pepe has enjoyed great success and acclaim over the last 21 years, and we wish to thank our customers, our producers, the press, the internet and all of our fans and proselytizers. Our vineyard manager and winemaker, Wes Hagen, has started his new venture as consulting winemaker and brand ambassador for J.Wilkes Wines in Santa Maria Valley. For now, Andrew Turner is continuing to offer tours at Clos Pepe vineyards and tastings at the winery and will continue to spread the Clos Pepe love for as long as we have wine available.
1. How can I buy your wine or olive oil?
Olive Oil is no longer being produced for sale at Clos Pepe Vineyards. Wine is still for sale, although quantities are diminishing. Go on over to the Website Store and fill up the cellar before it's all gone!
2. How do I join your wine club?
Head on over to the wine club page get the exciting details, and then add the wine club as an item in the store, then check out to give us your address and the info we need to keep the delicious pinot noir flowing to your doorstep. There is no cost to join the wine club, and the quarterly shipments are only $100.
3. How can I schedule a visit to the vineyard for a tour and tasting?
We currently offer vineyard tours and tastings by appointment only. We suggest at least two weeks in advance for requesting a date. Tours are normally offered at 10:30 am, but we do make exceptions. Andrew Turner (Brand Manager) or Steve Pepe (owner/vigneron) lead these tours, which generally take about two hours. Our tours currently have the highest rating on Yelp and Trip Advisor of any vineyard tour in the United States. Come see why. Tasting appointments are available at the winery in Lompoc.
We only accept requests for tours via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Do you have a tasting room? How about Barrel Tasting?
Our wine is usually being poured at Taste of the Sta Rita Hills, located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. They are open Thursday-Sunday, 11:00 am – 5 pm, 1505 E Chestnut Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436 Phone:(805) 735-8774
BARREL TASTING: since we no longer have wine in barrels, unfortunately barrel tasting is no longer an option.
5. We’re in the area now. Is there a chance of getting to tour at the vineyard?
There’s always a chance we can add you to an existing appointment. Text Andrew at 805-486-2080 if you’re in the area and we’ll let you know if we can make room for you. However, the odds that Andrew is available when there's no tour already schedule are slim, which is why we recommend advance notice for appointments. Existing customers/Wine Club are always given preferential treatment in scheduling.
6. Do you give an industry discount?
If your receive a paycheck from a winery, or earn a living as a sommelier or an industry directly related to wine, you may request industry pricing. Bringing a business card is always advisable. Specific discounts vary from bottle to bottle as opposed to a set percentage.
7. My charity is having an event. Will you donate or pour wine?
You can imagine how many requests for wine donations we get. As a micro-botique winery, producing less than 2000 cases of Estate wine a year, we have to be extremely focused on the causes we want to support. We have donated over $100,000 in wine during our 14 years of production and define ourselves by our willingness to engage in meaningful philanthropy. We work with a defined group of charities currently, and rarely approve wine donations to those charities outside of our current list. You can always send us information concerning your cause, but if we have no pre-existing relationship with a charity or its members, we generally cannot donate. We will commonly donate tours for those charities we like to support.
8. Where does the name ‘Clos Pepe’ come from?
‘Clos’ is the French word for wall, which is expressed in the English word ‘closed’. ‘Clos’ is also analogous to French terms like ‘Domaine’ and ‘Chateau’, but is more common in Burgundy, where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay find their original home. Steve Pepe is our owner and vigneron, so we applied his last name to the title. So ‘Clos Pepe’ can be loosely translated as: ‘A Burgundian-styled vineyard owned by a guy named Pepe’. A ‘Clos’ also has a long tradition, and many of the ancient walls/Clos of Burgundy were erected over a thousand years ago.
9. What is a ‘House Tasting’?
A ‘House-Tasting’ is our preferred way of putting our wine in front of new customers. A customer invites 15-20 friends over, Andrew comes to your house with wine and Riedel wine glasses and pours current releases (4-6) for your friends and offers them the chance to take some wine home with them. There is no charge for the tasting, and no high-pressure sales tactics. We have found the most successful of these events ends with a catered dinner or a pot-luck to share wine, food and stories.
10. Do you rent out Clos Pepe for weddings and events?
Generally, no. This is Steve and Cathy Pepe's private residence and not a public facility.
11. Where should we eat and stay when in the area?
These suggestions come from Wes Hagen, and are not subsidized in any way except they keep me happily fed and we have received positive reviews on a regular basis. Lompoc is likely the best value for lodging, and we suggest the Embassy Suites. The Marriot in Buellton is also a nice option, and is a decent walk to the Hitching Post, movie theater, etc. Food in Lompoc is cheap but good: Scratch Kitchen is brand new to Lompoc and offers delicious farm-to-table fare, Suvan’s or Herb Home for Thai/Cambodian is suggested, as is Floriano’s for Mexican food (try a carne asada torta or the carne asada fries). Central Coast Specialty Food on College (Lompoc) is great for lunch or artisan cheese/charcuterie. In Buellton try Industrial Eats, the Hitching Post, or Rudy’s for Mexican. The Ballard Inn is among our favorite dining in the Valley, as is Santa Ynez Kitchen (Italian), Grappollo (Italian), Mirabelle (Solvang, Continental), and Root 246 (Solvang, Fine Dining with Comfort Food Focus).
Don’t forget to make an appointment to taste/tour Clos Pepe when making your reservation, we do NOT take walk-in tasters: email@example.com
12. What kind of weather should I expect in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA?
In general, expect Lompoc to be 65-75 degrees and windy/cool almost 350 days out of the year. Lompoc can grow warm (80’s-90’s) in rare instances during September/October, but is generally considered the most temperate climate in North America. Buellton is usually 5-10 degrees warmer, and the Sta. Ynez Valley can be quite warm/hot in Summer and perfectly temperate in the Spring and Winter. Rain is rare in this coastal desert, and only falls between November and April. Think of Lompoc like San Francisco and Santa Ynez as a slightly cooler Paso Robles. Come in layers and shed them as it warms!
13. I have another question or need to get in touch with Andrew Turner, Brand/Wine Club Manager how should I proceed?
We love to hear from you!
Andrew Turner should be contacted for tour requests, scheduling, House Tasting, wine questions, wine club queries, shipping questions, events, wine and food matching questions and Concierge service for our Wine Club. Reach Andrew Turner by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by text (sparingly): 310-486-2080