Nick Peay

Nick Peay Winegrower

Nick Peay

Nick’s interest in wine started when, seeking to be different from his older sister, he accepted his parent’s offer to try wine one evening with dinner. A fascination set in and laid the groundwork for his eventual career in wine and wine growing.

After graduating from Bowdoin College, Nick set off for California with an ambition to discover if he would catch the wine bug working for a winery or perhaps end up pursuing a life as a chef; anything to avoid applying to law school, his parents suggested path. It did not take long for Nick to discover his calling. After working crush at Schramsberg in 1988, Nick took his first full-time position with Bill Smith, owner of La Jota Vineyards. The most critical lesson Nick learned from Bill was the importance of controlling your grape source. Acting on this inspiration, he decided to study in the graduate enology program at U.C. Davis, so he could someday grow his own grapes and make his own wine. Nick worked before, during, and after schooling at Schramsberg, La Jota, Newton, and as assistant wine maker at Storrs in the Santa Cruz Mountains from 1994 through early 1997.

As he witnessed the trials of running a self-starter venture at Storrs, Nick was delighted to discover his brother Andy might be interested in joining up to start their own vineyard and winery. In the beginning, Nick and Andy founded the company and planted the Annapolis parcel as a team. While the young vines matured, Nick worked harvest for Flowers in 1998 and 1999 and for Coldstream Hills in Australia in the Spring of 1999. When Vanessa joined the brothers in 2001, all the pieces fell in to place and Nick concentrated on winegrowing while helping Vanessa in the cellar. Due to his training and experience in making wine, Nick’s approach to grape growing stresses practices that lead to wines that express their fullest potential, no matter the cost or the effort. He hopes that will lead to wines that delight his brother, Vanessa and everyone who tries Peay Vineyards’ wines.


A Conversation with Nick Peay

Recent articles by Nick Peay

  • I Grow Grass. No, Not That Grass

    Wine and Grassgrower — Nick Peay As you may recall from last winter’s news stories, we received quite a bit of rain last winter. No, it was not a record-setting winter, but above average, around 78 inches through May. We even had a thorough soaking totaling seven inches over four days in the middle of […]

  • The View from the Tractor

    As you turn the page and your eyes alight upon the grape grower’s article, you probably expect musings on the pending harvest; envisioning misty mornings, yellowing leaves, heaping mounds of glistening clusters in quarter ton bins. Instead, I want to share with you what it is like to get my Big Spring Chore out of […]

  • Musings on Micro-Climates: A Break From NPR

    Does your car tell you the outside temperature? This is not a new technology – I have a 1994 Lexus that can do that – but it is more widespread now, maybe universal. How important is it to know the exact temperature outside? For a farmer, a couple degrees make a big difference as it […]

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