Chardonnay comes in many shapes and sizes and the style of the wine reflects not only the location where it is grown but also the goal of the winemaker. When we started, we were in our twenties and untethered and could have gone anywhere to plant a vineyard. We chose to grow Chardonnay on this piece of land on purpose. We knew the cool temperatures would keep tropical flavors at bay and allow the more citrus and mineral qualities of the variety to sing.
We planted 7 Old Wente and Dijon clonal selections of Chardonnay on 7 of the chilliest acres in the vineyard. Regardless of clone, our Chardonnays have a distinct signature that can best be described as a combination of chalky, citrus, apple and pear notes combined with vibrant energy from the brisk acidity. These are not rich, buttery and fat wines.
We make three Chardonnay. As with our Pinot noir and Syrah, we first make the Estate blend blind of production information (# of cases, % new oak, etc.) and select what we feel best represents Peay Chardonnay in that vintage. The remaining barrels are blended with a few barrels we make from a vineyard in the southern portion of the West Sonoma Coast and make the Sonoma Coast. In exceptional vintages, we also make 50 cases of a tête de cuvée named Elanus.
Vanessa cut her teeth as winemaker at Peter Michael Winery in the 1990s. It was there that she learned the craft of making superior Chardonnay from various sites with distinct personalities. She has adapted her approach to suit our cooler site and makes some of the most compelling expressions of Chardonnay in the U.S.
Growing Chardonnay at Peay
Be among the first to know about new offerings
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.