Pegasus Estate Winery
Santa Ynez Valley AVA
Two equestrian loving individuals in pursuit of crafting fine Bordeaux-inspired wines
You would think that a winery that is more than a decade old and still the same size in production as when it began is a bit unusual, wouldn’t you? If you thought that way, in the case of Pegasus Estate Winery, you’d be completely off base.
“We started off being a boutique winery and we have remained that way on purpose,” remarked co-owner Peggy Crowley. “Our vineyard is around three acres and we produce enough grapes to fulfill our needs. All of our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our vineyard and we’ve been quite happy with the results we have achieved over the years.”
Peggy Crowley and her husband Mike own and run Pegasus Estate Winery that is located in the trendy Santa Ynez Valley on California’s Central Coast. The story of how Pegasus Estate Winery came into being is worth repeating.
Mike Crowley was originally from Lexington, Kentucky and started off his career in the thoroughbred horse business where he acted as a consultant to horse trainers and breeders. After graduating from college, he began a career in pharmaceutical sales that allowed him to travel to a number of countries, including wine-appreciative France. Mike spent a good deal of time in Bordeaux, visiting a number of its great Châteaux and developing a fondness for their terroir-driven wines. He noted the soils were composed of gravel, sandy loam, and clay.
Meanwhile, Peggy was pursuing her own interests in the equine world and developing a taste for Estate Cabernet Sauvignons, the primary grape used in making Bordeaux wines. When the pair met, their common love for horses and wine helped form an instant bond. The couple was soon engaged and married. Their goal was to one day orchestrate an elaborate equestrian center that would also include a small winery that would allow them to produce world-class wines under their own label.
Pegasus Estate Winery first saw the light of day in 2010 with a tiny production of around 500 cases, the same number of cases it produces to this day. “We want to be known for our great wines, not how big we are,” affirmed Peggy Crowley. “Mike and I had traveled to Bordeaux and when we found this spot in the Santa Ynez Valley, we knew it from the start. The land is composed of sandy loam with areas of gravel and clay, and overlooks a flowing creek. It was a 100 year-old former cattle ranch that faced west and was protected from the winds. Mike felt we couldn’t miss and he was right.”
Pegasus Estate Winery was an instant success and has garnered an impressive number of awards and scores since its inception. The name of the winery is derived from Greek mythology, where the winged horse’s correlation to winemaking was his pivotal role in taking flight to the sky to create thunderbolts and storms that brought rain to irrigate vineyards, an integral part of Greek mythology.
The wine label for Pegasus Estate Winery carries through on that early symbolism. Gifted Artist Jennifer Chapman produced an amalgamation that featured Dharbe, the Crowley’s prized Arabian stallion taking flight over the Pegasus Estate vineyards.
The Crowleys have been aided in their evolution of Pegasus Estate winery by Byron Kent Brown, better known in wine circles as Ken Brown. Brown was an early pioneer of Central Coast winemaking and owner of the esteemed Byron Winery, as well as a consultant to a number of other Central Coast wineries. He actually made his reputation with Robert Mondavi Family Wines, the entity that eventually purchased Byron Winery from Brown in 1990. Fortunately for Peggy and Mike Crowley, their new winery operation was just down the road from Ken Brown’s home and the rest is history. A tight friendship developed and Ken Brown has had a masterful hand in developing Pegasus Estate Winery into a small, world-class winery operation that is considered one of the finest of its type in the entire state.
Peggy and Mike Crowley continue to operate several businesses in addition to their winery. They have managed to combine their love for wine and horses in a setting that comes straight out of a romantic novel. The opportunity to grow their winery has always been present but the Crowleys have always resisted the chance to expand.
“We want to remain small and produce great wines. It’s as simple as that,” finalized Peggy Crowley.
It is our great pleasure to introduce our Platinum Wine Club members to this incredibly-crafted wine from Pegasus Estate Winery. Enjoy it to its fullest!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
The genesis of Pegasus Estate Winery was inspired by our mutual love of rare and select hand crafted boutique wines and our admiration for majestic horses. My wife Peggy grew up near the Santa Anita Racetrack and has loved everything horse related for as long as she can remember. I was born and raised in the horse capital of Lexington, Kentucky. As an adult, my career in pharmaceutical sales had me living in Europe for several years, and I often would vacation in the Bordeaux region of France where I fell in love with the Bordeaux-style of winemaking.
Drawn to the supreme wine growing conditions of the Central Coast of California, we knew that we had found our place as we happened upon a 100-year-old cattle ranch in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. It was an ideal location to plant premium grape vines and to build an exquisite equestrian center.
A portion of the acreage is devoted to rare vines that have matured nicely and produce small-lot, limited-allocation artisan wines. The other section of the property is devoted to horse and animal rescue, concentrating primarily on geriatric horses headed to an otherwise unfortunate demise. We have one rescue horse that is well into his 40’s and still going strong! Pegasus Estate Winery funds our rescue and rehabilitation efforts for these animals.
We are so proud and thrilled that Gold Medal Wine Club is presenting their Platinum Wine Club members the first vintage release of our new Bordeaux-style 2016 Quadrille Red Blend! This new wine from Pegasus has received numerous accolades and Gold Medals.
This beautiful wine is produced with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Merlot. Crystal ruby in color with aromatics of cacao, black olives, black fruits mixed with toasted oak and sandalwood scents on the nose. Elements of cassis, notes of vanilla, glints of warm spices, dried sage, bay leaves, and a hint of cracked pepper. Medium bodied, well balanced, lively on the palate with a smooth finish. All our wines are very food friendly; the 2016 Quadrille would be a wonderful compliment to a lamb dish and it even pairs well with BBQ.
Ken Brown - Winemaker
A third generation California native, Ken enrolled in a graduate enology program in 1974 and led a research program at Cal State Fresno in the school vineyard and winery. After graduation, Ken accepted an offer to become Zaca Mesa Winery’s first winemaker in 1977. His wines were highly acclaimed and he was one of a handful of winemakers to catapult Santa Barbara County into an established appellation.
Lured by the appeal of making great regional wines Ken founded Byron Vineyard & Winery in 1984 in the Santa Maria Valley of northern Santa Barbara County. Byron Winery enjoyed early success and gained national recognition for their wines, including highly sought after award winning Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Ken sold Byron Winery to the Robert Mondavi family in 1990. Over the next decade, Ken and the Mondavis embarked on an extensive experimental vineyard program featuring various rootstocks, clones and planting densities and built a state-of-the art winery in 1996.