Andy Peay Sales, Marketing, and Everything Else
Over a bottle of Château Beaucastel and a rack of lamb, Nick convinced Andy to pursue a life in wine. They had spent the spring of 1995 listening to old jazz records and brewing beer. Nick would bring the wine for dinner and Andy, since he was trying to figure out if maybe he wanted to be a chef, would cook. One evening while washing down a bite of lamb with a perfectly paired wine Andy’s brain lit up like a Christmas tree. Forget life as a chef. Wine! A life in wine is the future.
Prior to that time, Andy had received his BA from Dartmouth College in 1992 and, upon graduation, spent a few years on Wall Street as a financial analyst. After leaving banking by way of trekking through Southeast Asia for a year, Andy studied economic development at UC Berkeley. That spring, Andy traveled to various wine regions and enrolled in the OIV Wine Marketing Summer Session at UC Davis. He continued to pursue his interest in wine by working the 1995 harvest at Cain Vineyards in Napa. By this time, Andy was hooked and moved to San Francisco to learn about the retail end of wine at The Jug Shop. During that time, Andy and Nick searched for land to grow cool climate Pinot noir and Syrah. They purchased their land on the Sonoma Coast in late 1996.
While looking for a potential vineyard site and preparing to plant, Andy received an MBA from the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Upon graduation Nick and Andy co-managed the planting of the first 30 acres. The isolation of the Coast proved to be hard and cash was getting low so Andy moved back to San Francisco to work as a brand manager for a gourmet food company, Napa Valley Kitchens, and as a brand strategy consultant with The Brand Consultancy.
In 2004, Andy very happily returned full time to Peay Vineyards to run the business and sell the wine. He feels very lucky to share a vision for making high quality wine with an intelligent, hard working winegrower and an exceptional winemaker who also happen to be his brother and sister-in-law.