Peju Province Winery
Napa Valley AVA
Keen insight and deep determination to share their idea of a perfect setting and marvelous wines with the wine loving world
One of the first things that Peju Province owner Tony Peju will agree to is the fact that he is obsessed with his business. What’s more, the exuberant winery owner is extremely vocal when it comes to the subject.
“When I am determined to do something,” he confided recently, “I generally get it done, no matter what it takes or how long it takes me. I am definitely an over achiever, you can even say obsessed, but whenever I set out to do something, I expect it to ultimately happen.” When Tony Peju first found his way to the Napa Valley, it wasn’t with the idea of grapes or a winery in mind. He was simply looking for a farm on which he could spend two or three days a week that would provide him with a respite from the crowded confines of Southern California. Some friends mentioned a property to him that was planted in grapevines and the thought triggered a childhood remembrance from his early days with his family around Aix in the Province Region of France. Added to the fact that during his youth his father was an amateur winemaker, Tony Peju’s interest in grape growing brought him to Napa’s prime growing area of Rutherford.
“At the time (early 1980’s) everyone believed that Rutherford grapes were the best in the valley,” he added. “I started asking around and finally found this piece of property that was surrounded by some well established growers and wineries, Mondavi, BV and Caymus among others. I started taking some courses at UC Davis and worked with a number of wine consultants.” Tony Peju’s first releases in 1985 met with incredible success, a fact that Peju dismisses as unimportant.
“As a matter of fact I expected them to do well,” he explained. “As I told you, I am an over achiever who expects to do well with everything I do. The recognition was nice, but I must tell you that I really sort of expected it to happen.” Tony Peju sets many goals for himself, some that occur on a daily basis and some that he expects to reach fruition in a year or longer. And most importantly, Tony is only interested in how he personally feels he has succeeded in his accomplishments.
“I really don’t feel that I have accomplished all that much,” he said matter-of-factly. “I don’t pay too much attention to what people might say of my accomplishments. It is how I feel about them that really matters and it is based mostly on what I expected of myself.” Peju credits Walter Shug of Shug Cellars and top wine consultant Lisa Van der Water of Napa and New Zealand for providing him with the insight that has allowed Peju Province Winery to expand to its present 40,000 case annual production. He also credits his current winemaker Sara Fowler, whose prior work experiences included Kendall-Jackson and Napa neighbor Franciscan Vineyards, with providing him excellent blends from which to make the final decisions on his wines.
“Oh yes, I make all the final decisions at Peju,” he continued. “I am always willing to hear everyone else’s opinions on the blends, but I always leave the final decision to myself.” Tony Peju is also delighted his two daughters, Lisa and Ariana have followed him into the family business along with his wife Herta. The family makes a strong statement and brings a varied set of expertise into the company.
“When we started the winery back in 1982,” Peju recalled, “it was only Herta and me. We always hoped that our girls would follow us into the business and now that it has happened, it makes many of our earlier sacrifices that much more worthwhile. Each of the girls has special talents and it is up to us to utilize them in our company.” The big goal at Peju Province Winery is to reach the 100,000 case goal, a level that Tony Peju hopes to achieve in about ten years.
“It really depends on just how much longer I last,” he confessed. “The 100,000 cases equates to how much vineyard land we have available so I don’t see why we can’t achieve our goal.”
Anyone who really knows Tony Peju will probably bet their money that he makes it to his goal. Tony simply wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dear Platinum Wine Club members:
Peju Province’s success is based on Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Rutherford. We are very proud of the fact that year after year our wines receive numerous amounts of recognition and awards. The wines are released relatively early due to the small inventory available and strong customer demand. My wines are crafted so that they can be enjoyed at an early age. A wine’s fruit and complexity is tasted and enjoyed best within the first seven years.
I invite you to walk the garden and taste my other red wines that this small winery is known for, such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. You will find me tending the flowers or cutting trees as you stroll the grounds by the waterfall.
See you there.