Peay Vineyards

Peay Vineyards is a partnership between Vanessa Wong, and Andy and Nick Peay. They make wine from a cold, marginal site on the extreme Sonoma Coast. Founded in 1998, this remote 48-acre hilltop vineyard is located above a river gorge in the far northwestern corner of the Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean in Annapolis. The property was originally an apple orchard known as the Peterson Ranch.They grow 34 acres of Pinot Noir (15 clonal selections including both Dijon clones and heritage selections), 8 acres of Syrah, 7 acres of Chardonnay, 0.8 acres of Viognier, 0.4 acres of Roussanne and 0.2 acres of Marsanne. They sell fruit to 2 wineries: Williams Selyem Winery and Failla Winery.Winemaker Vanessa Wong left her position as winemaker at Peter Michael Winery in 2001 to dedicate her efforts to launching Peay Vineyards. Wineries on her resume include Lafite-Rothschild, Domaine Jean Gros, Franciscan Estates in addition to Peter Michael. Nick took a job at La Jota Vineyards after graduating from college, and later pursued his education at the University California at Davis enology program. He then spent time at Schramsberg, Newton, Storrs, Flowers and Coldstream Hills. Now he is the vineyard manager at Peay. Andy is a Dartmouth graduate who originally followed a career as a financial analyst on Wall Street. He decided to jump into the wine business, working at Cain Vineyards and selling wine at the Jug Shop in San Francisco while he spent the occasional weekend searching the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts for a suitable plot of land.Though Peay vineyards are not certified organic, every effort is made to grow the fruit using sustainable vineyard practices. The long term health of the vineyard and the ecosystem drive their practices. The sandstone soils lead to desirable low fertility. The vineyard and winery are not a family heritage; rather, they are the result of a combined 39 years working in the wine industry.The wines are sold through a mailing list. Total production is 3,000 to 3,900 cases, 90% from estate fruit. Wines include Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier and Rousanne. Declassified juice is sold under the Cep label. The Pinot Noirs are crafted to age with optimum drinking windows at least 3 to 5 years after release. Winery of the Year 2009 award by the San Francisco Chronicle.
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