Peju Winery: A Guide to Napa Valley's Iconic Wine Destination

Peju Winery is a family-owned winery located in the heart of Napa Valley's Rutherford district. The winery was founded in 1983 by Tony and Herta Peju, who had a vision of building a winery that would produce wines of exceptional quality and elegance. Today, Peju Winery is known for its award-winning wines, which are made using sustainable and organic farming practices.

The Peju family has been farming the land in Napa Valley for over 50 years, and their passion for winemaking is evident in every bottle of wine they produce. The winery's Persephone Estate Vineyard is home to some of the finest grapes in the region, and the family's commitment to sustainable farming practices ensures that the land will continue to produce exceptional wines for generations to come.

Visitors to Peju Winery can enjoy tastings, tours, and events at the winery, which is housed in a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired building. The winery also offers a luxury hotel and restaurant complex, the PEJU Tower, where guests can enjoy stunning views of the vineyards and the surrounding countryside. Whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Peju Winery is a must-visit destination in Napa Valley.

History and Legacy

Founding by Tony Peju

Peju Winery was founded in 1983 by Tony Peju, who had a passion for wine and a vision to create a family-owned and operated winery in the heart of Napa Valley. Tony had been running several plant nurseries in Los Angeles for many years before he decided to find a piece of farm property where he and his young family could live part-time. After visiting farms on every hill and in every valley between San Diego and San Francisco, he finally found the perfect location in Rutherford, Napa Valley.

Tony's vision for the winery was to create a unique and welcoming environment where people could come and enjoy exceptional wines, learn about the winemaking process, and experience the beauty of the vineyards. He planted his first vineyard in 1985 and started producing his first vintage in 1987. Since then, Peju Winery has become one of the most respected and recognized wineries in Napa Valley.

Growth and Expansion

Peju Winery has remained family-owned and operated since its founding, with Tony's daughters Lisa and Ariana now running the winery. Under their leadership, the winery has continued to grow and expand, while still maintaining the same commitment to quality and sustainability that Tony instilled from the beginning.

Peju Winery now has over 30 estate vineyards, covering a total of 650 acres in Napa Valley. The winery produces a wide range of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Peju Winery is also known for its small lot and single vineyard wines, including a single varietal Cabernet Franc, which isn't all too common in the valley.

Peju Winery has also become a leader in sustainability, with a commitment to farming practices that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. The winery has implemented a number of sustainable practices, including the use of solar power, composting, and water conservation techniques.

Overall, Peju Winery has established a rich history and legacy in Napa Valley, rooted in family dedication and passion. With a commitment to quality, sustainability, and community, Peju Winery is poised to continue its growth and success for many years to come.

Vineyards and Terroir

Estate Vineyard Overview

Peju Winery's estate vineyards are located in two distinct regions of Napa Valley: Calistoga and Pope Valley. The Calistoga vineyard is situated on the valley floor and benefits from the warm days and cool nights that are characteristic of the region. The Pope Valley vineyard, on the other hand, is located on the eastern side of the valley and is influenced by the cooling breezes that blow in from San Pablo Bay.

The Calistoga vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec, while the Pope Valley vineyard is home to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel. Both vineyards are farmed using sustainable and organic practices to ensure the health of the land and the quality of the fruit.

Soil Composition and Climate

The soil composition of Peju Winery's estate vineyards plays a crucial role in the character and quality of the wines produced. The Calistoga vineyard is planted in well-draining soils composed of sand and gravel, which allows the vines to produce small, concentrated berries with intense flavors. The Pope Valley vineyard, on the other hand, is planted in heavier soils that are rich in nutrients, which results in wines with a more complex flavor profile.

The climate of Napa Valley is characterized by warm days and cool nights, which allows the grapes to ripen slowly and develop complex flavors and aromas. This climate, combined with the diverse soils of Peju Winery's estate vineyards, results in wines that are balanced, expressive, and elegant.

In conclusion, Peju Winery's estate vineyards are carefully tended to ensure the health of the land and the quality of the fruit. The unique terroir of each vineyard, combined with the expertise of the winemaking team, results in wines that are truly reflective of the Napa Valley region.

Wine Portfolio

Peju Winery is known for its rich tapestry of wines, each bottle a testament to over four decades of family dedication and passion. The Peju Portfolio includes a range of red and white varietals, reserve and limited editions, all crafted with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Red Varietals

Peju Winery's red varietals are renowned for their complexity and depth of flavor. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a standout, with rich blackberry and black cherry flavors, balanced by a hint of vanilla and oak. The Merlot is another crowd-pleaser, with notes of plum, black cherry, and chocolate. The Malbec is a lesser-known varietal that Peju Winery has mastered, with a deep purple color and flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and spice.

White Varietals

Peju Winery's white varietals are crisp and refreshing, perfect for a warm summer day. The Chardonnay is a standout, with flavors of apple, pear, and vanilla. The Sauvignon Blanc is another popular choice, with notes of grapefruit, lime, and grass.

Reserve and Limited Editions

Peju Winery's reserve and limited edition wines are the pinnacle of their winemaking expertise. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is a standout, with flavors of blackberry, cassis, and cocoa. The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve is another must-try, with notes of lemon zest, honeydew melon, and white peach. The 2018 Peju Cabernet Franc is a limited edition wine that is sure to impress, with flavors of raspberry, black cherry, and cocoa.

Peju Winery's Wine Portfolio is a must-try for any wine lover. With a range of red and white varietals, reserve and limited editions, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Winemaking Process

Peju Winery prides itself on crafting wines of distinction, and their winemaking process is an integral part of achieving this goal. The winery's commitment to quality is reflected in every step of the winemaking process.

Harvesting and Fermentation

The winery's winemaking process starts with the harvest. Grapes are hand-picked and sorted to ensure that only the best fruit is used in the winemaking process. Once the grapes have been sorted, they are destemmed and crushed. The juice and skins are then transferred to tanks for fermentation.

Peju Winery uses a combination of stainless steel and oak barrels for fermentation. Stainless steel tanks are used for white wines to preserve their fresh fruit flavors, while oak barrels are used for red wines to add complexity and depth.

During the fermentation process, the winemaking team carefully monitors the temperature and sugar levels to ensure that the wine develops the desired flavors and aromas. Once fermentation is complete, the wine is pressed and transferred to barrels for aging.

Aging and Bottling

Peju Winery's wines are aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels. The winemaking team carefully selects the barrels to ensure that they complement the wine's unique characteristics. The wine is aged for up to two years, during which time it develops complex flavors and aromas.

Once the wine has been aged, it is blended and bottled. The winemaking team carefully selects the best bottles and corks to ensure that the wine is of the highest quality. The bottles are then labeled and packaged for distribution.

Peju Winery's winemaking process is a testament to their commitment to quality. From harvesting to bottling, every step is carefully monitored to ensure that the wine is of the highest quality.

Tasting Experiences

Peju Winery offers a variety of tasting experiences that cater to all wine enthusiasts. Visitors can choose from the Classic Seated Tasting, Reserve Tasting, or the Rutherford Cellar Series. Each tasting experience offers a unique opportunity to taste some of the finest wines produced by Peju Winery.

Classic Seated Tasting

The Classic Seated Tasting is a great option for those who want to enjoy a laid-back wine tasting experience. Visitors can take a seat and enjoy a flight of five wines while learning about the history and winemaking philosophy of Peju Winery. The tasting includes a selection of both red and white wines, and guests can choose to add a cheese plate to complement their tasting.

Reserve Tasting

For those looking for a more exclusive tasting experience, the Reserve Tasting is the perfect option. This 90-minute experience offers a selection of five reserve, small-lot wines, each showcasing the depth of complexity and flavors from Peju's family vineyards. Guests can indulge in seasonal culinary accompaniments that perfectly complement the wines. The Reserve Tasting is available for guests aged 21 and above, and a 24-hour reservation is required.

Rutherford Cellar Series

The Rutherford Cellar Series is an exclusive tasting crafted for wine enthusiasts. This 90-minute tasting journey takes place at Peju Winery's communal table and is expertly guided by a personal host. Visitors can indulge in a selection of five wines, including limited-production and library wines, while learning about the winemaking techniques used by Peju Winery. The Rutherford Cellar Series is a great way to experience the best of Peju Winery's wines and is perfect for those who want to take their wine tasting experience to the next level.

Peju Winery's tasting experiences offer something for everyone, from laid-back wine tastings to exclusive reserve tastings. Visitors can enjoy a selection of wines while learning about the history and winemaking philosophy of Peju Winery.

Wine Club and Membership

Peju Winery offers a wine club membership program that provides members with exclusive access to limited release wines, preferred member pricing, customizable shipments, and other exciting benefits. As a member of Club Peju, wine enthusiasts can enjoy the best of Napa Valley wines and hospitality.

Club Peju Benefits

Club Peju members receive a variety of benefits, including complimentary tastings for up to four guests, access to exclusive club events, and preferred member pricing on all wines. Members also receive first purchase options on pre-releases and rare limited release wines. With customizable shipments, members can choose the wines they want to receive and have them delivered straight to their door in just a few days.

Membership Options

Peju Winery offers two membership options for Club Peju. The Classic Membership includes four shipments per year, each containing four bottles of wine. Members can choose between red, white, or mixed wine shipments. The Reserve Membership includes four shipments per year, each containing six bottles of wine. Members receive the best of Peju's limited production wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.

Wine club members have the option to cancel their membership at any time. Memberships are automatically renewed each year, and members can choose to skip a shipment or change their membership at any time.

In summary, Club Peju is an excellent option for wine enthusiasts who want to experience the best of Napa Valley wines and hospitality. With exclusive access to limited release wines, preferred member pricing, customizable shipments, and other exciting benefits, Club Peju is a fantastic way to experience the best of Peju Winery.

Visiting Peju Winery

Peju Winery is located in the heart of Napa Valley, California. It is a family-owned winery that has been welcoming guests to its estate since 1983. Visitors to Peju Winery can enjoy a range of experiences from tastings to private events.

Location and Directions

Peju Winery is located at 8466 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573. The winery is situated in the Rutherford AVA, which is known for producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world. The winery is easily accessible from Highway 29 and is just a short drive from downtown Napa.

Reservations and Group Visits

Peju Winery offers several tasting experiences for visitors to choose from. Reservations are required for all tastings and can be made online or by phone. Walk-ins are welcome based on availability. Groups of 8 or more are required to make a reservation in advance.

Events and Private Functions

Peju Winery is a popular venue for private events and functions. The winery offers several event spaces that can accommodate groups of varying sizes. The grounds are beautiful and provide a picturesque backdrop for weddings, corporate events, and other special occasions. Peju Winery also hosts several public events throughout the year, including wine release parties and holiday celebrations.

Overall, Peju Winery is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Napa Valley. The winery's commitment to producing high-quality wines and providing exceptional hospitality make it a top choice for wine enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Sustainability and Community

Peju Winery is committed to sustainable farming practices and environmental stewardship. The winery has implemented several initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, such as solar power and composting. In addition, Peju Winery is a Napa Green winery, which means that they have been certified by the Napa Valley Vintners association for their commitment to environmental sustainability.

Environmental Stewardship

Peju Winery has taken several steps to reduce their impact on the environment. They have installed solar panels to generate clean energy, which has reduced their carbon footprint and energy costs. Additionally, they have implemented a composting program to reduce waste and improve soil health. The winery also uses drip irrigation to conserve water and minimize runoff.

Local Involvement

Peju Winery is committed to giving back to the community. They have launched a new philanthropic initiative and community partnership to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The winery has partnered with local organizations to support causes such as education, health, and the arts. They have also opened a museum experience on the property, which showcases the history and culture of Napa Valley wines.

Overall, Peju Winery is dedicated to sustainability and community involvement. They are committed to reducing their impact on the environment and giving back to the community. Through their initiatives and partnerships, they are helping to preserve the culture and heritage of Napa Valley wines.

Additional Amenities

Art and Architecture

Peju Winery is not just a place for wine lovers, but also for art and architecture enthusiasts. The winery boasts a stunning collection of stained glass windows created by the celebrated artist Narcissus Quagliata. The windows are not only beautiful but also serve as a testament to the winery's commitment to art and culture. Visitors can admire the intricate designs and vibrant colors of the stained glass windows while sipping on their favorite wine.

In addition to the stained glass collection, Peju Winery's architecture is also worth noting. The winery's building features a unique blend of Mediterranean and contemporary design, making it a standout among the other wineries in the region. The building is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, as it provides a comfortable and welcoming environment for visitors.

Culinary Offerings

Peju Winery is not just about wine; it also offers a range of culinary delights. Chef Nic, the winery's executive chef, creates dishes that pair perfectly with Peju's wines. Visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes, including artisanal cheese plates, charcuterie boards, and seasonal salads. Chef Nic's dishes are made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that visitors get a taste of the best that Napa Valley has to offer.

For those with a sweet tooth, Peju Winery's gift shop offers a range of dark chocolate treats. Visitors can indulge in chocolate bars, truffles, and other confections, all made using the finest ingredients. The chocolate pairs perfectly with Peju's wines, making for a truly indulgent experience.

Overall, Peju Winery offers a range of amenities that go beyond wine tasting. Visitors can admire the winery's stunning art collection, enjoy delicious food prepared by Chef Nic, and indulge in dark chocolate treats from the gift shop.