Let it Rain
Aspen Times-Winter Rains
Aspen Times-Winter Rains
Wall Street Journal
The weather is cool and the market is hot. The Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of the West Sonoma Coast, as distinct from the inland “Sonoma Coast,” put Jay McInerney in mind of good Burgundies.
New York Times
Peay Vineyards is making wines of rare intensity and precision
San Francisco Chronicle
Thirteen years ago, Nick and Andy Peay set out to make wine from their own grapes, grown on their own land. They had no established family estate, no angel investors. What they had was time to hunt along the California coast for the perfect site: a cold, marginal spot that would force grapes into an excruciatingly slow growing season.
Bloomberg Business By Elin McCoy Winemakers like to joke that only the rich should risk planting vines on the far Sonoma coast, where fog, chilly wind, and up to 80 inches of rain a year roll in from the Pacific. This dramatic, coolest-of-the-cool coastline is fast becoming California’s Côte d’Or, a sweet spot for great […]
The Extremists – Fort Ross Seaview AVA – Anne Krebiehl MW for World of Fine Wine 48
There’s a lot of Syrah in California. There’s more Syrah here than there is Pinot Noir in Oregon.
There’s twice as much Syrah in California as the entirety of all grapes planted in the Finger Lakes.
I wouldn’t have said that six years ago. In 2008, during the economic downturn, I tasted a lot of expensive California Syrahs for a company that was, essentially, an unsold-wine discounter. It was dreary work, and I understood why the wines were gathering dust on the shelves.
There’s an old saying in viticulture that when the weather is perfect, just about everyone can make good wine. When climatic conditions are dire, only the best winemakers can.
With the troubled 2011 vintage, Vanessa Wong, 44, the winemaker of Peay Vineyards, burnished her already firm place among the talented, with a yummy Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
The grapes in Nick and Andy Peay’s vineyards are in a precarious state most of the time. Quivering on the edge of the San Andreas Fault, shrouded in hours of chilly fog and subjected to steady Pacific breezes, it’s a wonder these grapes can ripen at all. The Peay’s and their winemaker Vanessa Wong are not alone in the Western Sonoma Coast’s risky winemaking climate. In fact, they enjoy some highly regarded company including wineries such as Hirsch, Joseph Phelps and Littorai.
Charleston City Paper
When you ask someone what they know about California wine, the usual response is Napa Valley followed by rating scores, cabernet sauvignon, and Robert Parker. But what they’re really referring to, whether they realize it or not, are wines made in the cellar more than the vineyard. Over the last few decades and strongly influenced by the Wine Advocate’s Parker, California’s wine brand has become synonymous with oakiness, a fuller body, and higher alcohol content.
Ten aspiring stars who are blazing their trails across the Golden State.
Wine And Spirits Magazine
Back in 1998, I spent a morning with Jess Jackson on a ridge in Annapolis, the spine of a large property he had recently acquired where he planned to farm pinot noir.
Food & Wine
Some of the fruit from this up-and-coming star in the far-northwestern corner of the Sonoma coast goes to top names like Williams Selyem and Ryan; the Peays keep the rest for their own label. TOP BOTTLE 2002 Renard Peay Vineyard Syrah ($35) This powerful, dense Syrah from winemaker Bayard Fox offers wild notes of roasted meat and black pepper.
Wine & Spirits Buying Guide 2010
Julian Peay, Vanessa Wong and Nick Peay’s two-and-a-half-year-old son, likes blackberries. On a warm afternoon in August, he watched his father and his uncle, Andy, lead a stranger down into the vineyard. At what he believed to be a safe distance, he climbed down the porch of the farmhouse, stomped through the fence posts where a wooden gate used to be, hid for a moment under the crouching pear tree, then kicked some of the windfall on his way to the pricker bush.
When Matt Kramer visited the wineries whose wines he presented at his seminar, he didn’t find any of the airy romance one equates with la vie du vin. “There was no woman with black hair and green eyes,” said Kramer. “There was no small door with flowers.”
If a vineyard can be a spirtual home to more than just vines, Peay Vineyards on Califonia’s remote and rugged Sonoma Coast is the quintessence of such a place.
Wine & Spirits Buying Guide 2008
“Peay’s syrah is in a league of its own.”
One of the things that I miss most about living in California is having access to smaller boutique wine producers who often don’t make enough wine to warrant sales outside the state. In order to keep current, I will often hit up my fellow sommeliers on the west coast for tips on what is hot […]
Vintrust Somm Selections
Peay Vineyards is the fruition of the love, passion, and the extraordinary efforts of three very different people. Brothers Nick and Andy Peay founded the project in 1996, planted the vineyard and, with winemaker Vanessa Wong, celebrated their first vintage in 2001. Each brings a specialty to the endeavor. Neck oversees viticulture, Vanessa handles winemaking and Andy is the marketing and sales guru. In 2006, Peay produced 4,000 cases and does not plan to grow much beyond that. Venessa has made it clear that beyond an 8,000-case production, she cannot smell every barrel sample every block and be personally involved in every step of the winemaking process.
The New York Times
California chardonnays are not nearly what they once were. This makes me very happy.
New York Times
“Syrah tends to lose its character at higher ripeness levels,” he said. “The thing that makes syrah beguiling, beautiful and feral is all lost, and you end up with a much more generic, fruity experience.”
Wine & Spirits
Nick Peay and Vanessa Wong, along with Nick’s brother, Andy, farm a remote 50-acre slice in the redwood of Annapolis, on the far Sonoma Coast. Conventional wisdom defines this area as California pinot country. But the fog-influenced cool climate has proved ideal for tense, peppery syrah, made by Wong at their winery directly inland in Cloverdale.
American Wine Awards
Pinot Noir 2006 Peay Vineyards Scallop Shelf Estate ($52) This cool, foggy Sonoma Coast Vineyard has a long growing season, allowing Pinot Noir grapes to develop intricate layers of flavor. Winemaker Vanessa Wong bottles this wine unfined and unfiltered to preserve its graceful depths.
The World of Fine Wine
This one will take some DW magic!! Despite the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution and a 2005 ruling of the US Supreme Court, direct interstate wine shipments are severely restricted by a law dating back to the end of Prohibition in 1933. As the battle for free trade in wine hangs in the balance, […]
California has always attracted vanguard winemakers. Here are four who exemplify the state’s renewed sense of viticultural adventure.
New York Times
I couldn’t begin to count the bottles of wine I opened or drank in 2006, though I have no doubt I could give those mice in the resveratrol experiments a run for their money. Honestly, I don’t drink wine for my health. That’s what carrots and broccoli are for. I drink it because I love […]
Thanksgiving menus are all more or less the same (turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, squash, beans), and yet no two menus are truly alike, thanks to family quirks, traditions, preferences and regional variations. With the holiday less than a week away, you probably have at least a general idea of what you’ll be cooking,
A Q&A with celebrated wine maker Vanessa Wong of the Sonoma Coast’s Peay Vineyard
From Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, vintners are making wines with a different personality — perfumed aromas, exotic honeysuckle, apricot, peach and orange blossom nuances …
“Everybody gets into this for a different reason. For us, it was: We want to make the best damn wine possible …”
San Francisco Chronicle
This is perhaps the best example of Roussanne from the New World yet.