Sonoma Coast, California
Brothers Nick and Andy Peay wanted to make intense, expressive, and aromatic wines that engaged the brain as well as titillated the tummy. Though their preferences leaned to wines from the Old World, their parents somehow dropped the ball and did not leave them a Domaine in Burgundy or Chateau in Bordeaux. They determined this style was achievable in the New World, however, and in 1996 found a very cold, remote, fog-enshrouded hilltop along the San Andreas Fault 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast. Peter Michael Winery’s winemaker Vanessa Wong visited the young vineyard in 2000 to see what the brothers were doing in the hinterlands of the Sonoma Coast. She found the site very appealing and, apparently, Nick wasn’t too shabby, either. She left her position as winemaker at Peter Michael to join them in their pursuit of elegant and aromatic cold climate wines and married Nick soon afterwards.
Since then, Peay Vineyards has emerged as one of the cult-status wineries from northern California. Peay was selected as 2009 Winery of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Top 100 wineries in the World for 7 years in a row from Wines & Spirits Magazine, Top Pinot noir by Food & Wine Magazine, and was singled out by Eric Asimov from the New York Times and Jay McInerney from the Wall Street Journal for producing “excellent wines of rare intensity and precision.” And the wines taste good, too.