Posts with the label "peay vineyards"


A Tasting with Andy Peay of Peay Vineyards

A Tasting with Andy Peay of Peay Vineyards

Friday 6th July 2018
by Julian Campbell

We’ve been championing the wines from the ultra-remote Peay vineyard for a few years now. Planted in 1998, the vineyard turns 20 this year and quality levels have never been higher. 

The lion’s share of production goes to Pinot Noir, followed by Chardonnay and Syrah (alongside minute quantities of other varieties that don’t make it across the pond). The vineyard is nestled amongst huge redwoods, 600 feet above sea level, four miles from the coast and within the inversion layer. Effectively within the fog line, this a truly cool Californian vineyard whose year round temperatures are moderated in a meaningful way by the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. Contrary to being further in-land, out on the coast the higher you get the warmer it becomes. At 600 feet you hit something of a sweet spot, cool enough to moderate ripening but not so affected by fog as to be constantly battling mildew.  Being 600 feet lower than the lowest vineyards in the nearby Fort Ross and Seaview AVA, (home to the likes of Hirsch, Flowers and Martinelli) means that average yearly temperatures are 12-13 degrees lower at the Peay’s vineyard. That’s a meaningful drop. It is hardly surprising they were repeatedly told that ripening grapes would be a struggle out here and indeed today their tiny yields are testament to this perilous spot. Truly, this is winemaking on the edge.

Introducing Peay Vineyards

Introducing Peay Vineyards

Friday 9th May 2014
by Julian Campbell

A stunning new UK exclusive from the true Sonoma Coast

It is no mean feat finding Peay. The road you take from Geyserville twists and turns its way across high barren ridges and through densely wooded valleys, traversing a tectonically crumpled stretch of land as you head west, straight towards the Pacific Ocean– it is not a road where you can easily make up lost time, as I found out on my visit there in February 2013.  A mere four miles from the Ocean, surrounded by dense forest, on a slightly undulating ridge, sits the Peay Estate Vineyard; a one hundred year old clearing originally used to grow apples by local loggers. It is a fairly extreme place, right out on the limits, where vineyard pests can include bears.   And it’s home to one of the great Sonoma Coast vineyards.

Back in 1996 Andy and Nick Peay set out on the hunt for a parcel of land on which to grow their own grapes to make their own wine. Their search led them to a little travelled area in the very north of Sonoma that many at the time said was too cool to fully ripen grapes.  Having been raised on great European wines, this was music to their ears; just the sort of place to produce wines of purity, restraint and tension.   Keeping a keen eye out for the presence of moss and ferns, sure fire indicators of the presence of water, and fog, they finally located the 21ha parcel that today is home to their specific clonal selections of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, plus Syrah and a little Marsanne and Rousanne.