Great Expectations

People often ask me which of our Peay wines is my favorite. I usually find a way to say something positive about them all; for, it is true, I have liked all of our varieties best at one time or another. In the end, it really comes down to the vintage’s expression in a wine and my particular stylistic preference. I do so love the ‘04, ‘06 and ‘11 Chardonnays for their laser precision and minerality. And the ‘05, ‘07, ‘09 and ‘11 Syrahs capture the peppery, meaty, blood quality that thrills me. But I can say with no hesitation, that the 2012 Pinot noirs are my favorite Pinot noirs we have made, hands down.

Water Sommeliers: The Next Big Trend?

I read the title above this morning in The Daily Meal (All Things Food and Drink) and had a good chuckle. Apparently, the author was talking about more than just whether you’d like still or sparkling. His bottom line was that the establishments that are employing a water sommelier or training their servers/sommeliers on their extensive offerings of water options are attempting to improve the quality of the experience for you, their customers, in a meaningful way. Uh, sure, I guess?

Earning Your Stripes: the 2011 Vintage

When Nick and I decided to make estate wines, we agreed that we should only consider the viticultural potential of a site and not the impact the location would have on our personal lives. One site we considered would have had us living in a moldy trailer in horse country (we do not ride). Fortunately, we felt it was not ideal for the style of Pinot noir we wanted to make (the area was too warm. Phew). This focus led two bachelors—brothers to boot—to take up house on a remote hilltop 40 minutes from the nearest grocery store and an hour and a half from the closest “town.”

Zen and the Art of Fruit Maintenance

With the black and white monitor in my view, my obstetrician tapped the fuzzy image on the screen and said, “You are this close to being put on hospital bed-rest,” pinching the air to show me just how close.

These Boots are Made for Walking

Yes, I am the winemaker but the other hat that I wear is my self-proclaimed job title of “Assistant Grapegrower.” That is to say, I help Nick in his job of farming our estate grapevines to make wine.

Discovering a Sense of a Place

At the risk of diverting attention from the release for a moment, I want to share a recent experience. In late July I attended the International Pinot Noir Conference (IPNC) in McMinnville, Oregon.

Musings on Pinot

There is something immediate and eye-opening about the direct experience of travel to a far-away country. The hospitality industry as a whole caters to tourists yearning for the experience of a people and a place, yet, mostly offers up a simulacrum of the real thing. This is even more true with the vast majority of wine tourism.

Just Right

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to remember and retell a classic story? I was reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears to my 3 year-old son, Julian, and realized that I didn’t even have to read the text of the book.

I Exert for Dirt

My husband Nick is somewhat of an amateur geologist, a rock hound of sorts. As anyone who has visited our vineyard probably knows, if you query him about soil he will be more than happy to bend your ear about the interesting geologic events that led to the formation of the Coastal Ranges of California.

To be Au Naturel?

Hello, my name is Nick and I’ve got mildew. There, I’ve said it. It wasn’t easy to admit and you won’t often hear other growers come clean about it.