Cep Wines

A True Second Label

We drink wine every night. You have to eat dinner, no? Occasionally, we want something that is delicious with some complexity but does not cost an arm and a leg. It is hard to find that. Into the void enters Cep Vineyards’ wines.

Cep Pinot noir and Syrah are made solely from barrels of Peay Vineyards’ estate wines that through the blending process were not selected for a Peay Pinot noir or Syrah. We always make the Peay wines without knowing the production amounts of various potential blends. That way we focus exclusively on quality and do not consider financial implications when determining which wines will make the cut. This may mean we bottle only 70-80% of what we grow and make under the Peay label. It is the price of ensuring Peay wines meet our and your quality standards. The remaining barrels of wine – grown and made using the same exacting processes and standards as they are intended for Peay bottlings - become Cep wines.

A few years ago, we got the itch to make Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc and discovered a vineyard in the Russian River Valley – Hopkins - where we could make fresh, bright, and crisp wines and added them to the Pinot noir and Syrah we make under the Cep label. These wines are similar in spirit and intention to Peay wines.

We don’t make very many bottles of any of the wines and they are priced to be enjoyed without too much fuss and wringing of hands over cost. We hope they frequent your table in between bottles of Peay.

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A collage of photographs and graphics that represent this Cuvée. This image is also used as the product image for wines of this Cuvée.

Cep Pinot noir

Cep Vineyards Sonoma Coast Estate Pinot noir

Cep pinot noir is remarkably good. It should be as it is made from coddled – and very expensively farmed – grapes from our estate vineyard. You simply cannot find a wine of this complexity and site expressiveness at this price point unless it is a second label; certainly not one from the Coast where our yields are so low. Cep Pinot noir delivers the balance and elegance you expect from de-classified barrels of Peay Vineyards’ Estate Pinot noirs. The high-toned nose captivates with raspberry/strawberry notes mingled with deeper anise and tea notes. The mouth feel is round though precise with a medium length finish brought into focus by refreshing acidity.

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A collage of photographs and graphics that represent this Cuvée. This image is also used as the product image for wines of this Cuvée.

Cep Syrah

Cep Vineyards Sonoma Coast Estate Syrah

We do not make a Peay Sonoma Coast Syrah. We grow only 8 acres of Syrah and make two Peay Estate blends and the remaining barrels make up the Cep Syrah. It comes from one of the coldest Syrah vineyards in the world and captures that unique blend of fruit, floral, and savory notes only found in cool climates. As it is grown and made to be a Peay Syrah, Cep Syrah is good, and often, very good. It features hints of blackberry and pomegranate with lavender top notes complicated by aromas of white pepper, grilled meat, herbs, and iron. Cep Syrah is not a bruiser featuring low alcohol, clean acidity, and a medium to long finish. It is a versatile and delicious red wine that complements most cuisine.

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A collage of photographs and graphics that represent this Cuvée. This image is also used as the product image for wines of this Cuvée.

Cep Rosé of Pinot noir

Cep Vineyards Hopkins Rosé of Pinot noir, Russian River Valley

We love “true” Rosé. By that, we do not mean that ubiquitous dark colored, low acid, high alcohol dreck littering shelves. That style of Rosé is often a by-product from bleeding off juice (a process called saigneé) to concentrate the remaining Grenache, Syrah, Pinot noir, or another red wine that remains in the tank. In any event, that style of Rosé is not what we find interesting. We want refreshing, crisp, bright Rosé that has verve, pairs well with spring and summer cuisine, and you can enjoy without having to pick yourself up off the lawn. That is the Cep Rosé in a nutshell. It is made from Pinot noir grown at Hopkins Ranch in the heart of the Russian River Valley. It is rare to find a true Rosé made from Pinot noir as it is a very expensive grape to grow and buy and you cannot charge much for domestic Rosé (with a few notable exceptions). We pick it early, press it off to tank, and bottle it in December. It has a little kiss of strawberry juicy fruit and watermelon on entry and is loaded with acidity, minerality and depth on the palate.

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A collage of photographs and graphics that represent this Cuvée. This image is also used as the product image for wines of this Cuvée.

Sauvignon Blanc

Cep Vineyards Hopkins Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley

Nick and Vanessa met Bob Hopkins a few years ago at an Integrated Pest Management class. As organic farmers you attend IPM classes to learn how to attract beneficial pests that will combat nasty insects in the vineyard. That way you can avoid pesticides. Nick took a shine to Bob and mentioned that his brother wanted to make crisp, minerally, zippy Sauvignon Blanc, but, of course, we cannot grow Sauvignon Blanc at our very cold estate vineyard. Bob was kind enough to offer us Sauvignon Blanc from his blocks of 40 year old vines. And the result is – uniquely delicious. This is not the Bordeaux style of Sauvignon Blanc that Vanessa made when she was winemaker at Peter Michael where there is barrel aging and often Semillon in the blend. On the contrary, the grapes are picked to capture the citrus, green papaya, lemon blossom, chalky side of Sauvignon Blanc. It is tank fermented to retain acidity and freshness and bottled in the December following vintage.

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Our Wines

Pomarium, Scallop Shelf, Ama, Sonoma Coast, Savoy, Elanus
La Bruma, Les Titans
Estate, Sonoma Coast, Elanus

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