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Nick Peay

Winegrower

Nick’s interest in wine started when, seeking to be different from his teetotalling older sister, he accepted his parent’s offer to try wine one evening with dinner. A fascination set in and laid the groundwork for his eventual career in wine and wine growing.

After graduating from Bowdoin College in 1988, Nick set off for California with an ambition to discover if he would catch the wine bug working for his buddy’s family winery, Schramsberg; anything to avoid applying to law school, his parents suggested path. After working crush, Nick took his first full-time position with Bill Smith, owner of La Jota Vineyards on Howell Mountain in Napa. The most critical lessons Nick learned from Bill were the importance of matching grape variety and terroir and controlling your grape source. Acting on this inspiration, he decided to study in the graduate enology program at U.C. Davis so he could someday grow his own grapes and make his own wine. Nick worked before, during, and after schooling at Schramsberg, La Jota, and Newton in Napa, and as assistant wine maker at Storrs in the Santa Cruz Mountains from 1994 through early 1997.

As he witnessed the trials of running an entrepreneurial venture at Storrs, Nick was delighted to discover his brother Andy might be interested in joining up to start their own vineyard and winery. In the beginning, Nick and Andy founded the company and planted the estate vineyard in Annapolis as a team. While the young vines matured, Nick worked harvest for Flowers in 1998 and 1999 and for Coldstream Hills in Australia in the Spring of 1999 while Andy tended the vines. When Vanessa joined the brothers in 2001 as winemaker, all the pieces fell in to place and Nick concentrated on winegrowing while helping Vanessa in the cellar. Due to his training and experience in making wine, Nick’s approach to grape growing stresses practices that lead to wines that express their fullest potential, no matter the cost or the effort. He hopes that will lead to wines that delight Vanessa, his brother, and everyone who tries Peay Vineyards’ wines.

"As a winegrower, my job is to apply practices that lead to wines that express their fullest potential, no matter the cost or the effort."

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Winemaker

Vanessa's winemaking resume includes top-tier wineries Peter Michael Winery, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Domaine Jean Gros and Hirsch Winery.

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Sales, Marketing, Etc.

Over a bottle of Syrah 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.

 

Want Some Wine?

Our wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. You can browse our current offerings in our online Wine Shop.

Shop

Want Some Wine?

Our wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. You can browse our current offerings in our online Wine Shop.

Shop