Peter Paul Wines
Russian River Valley AVA
Concentrating on terroir/site-driven wines that are interesting, unique and characteristic of the region
From the time he was a young man, Peter Paul has had a fascination with fine wine. He was just old enough to drink when his father introduced him to the great wines of Burgundy, and the experience was one of the great revelations of Peter’s life. Peter Paul grew up in New Hampshire and a job in the financial services industry brought him to the west coast in the early 1970’s. The vintner-to-be settled in northern California and he enjoyed exploring the nearby wine country on the weekends. During the week, Peter was a successful entrepreneur, establishing Headlands Mortgage Company in 1986 and turning it into one of the premier wholesale lending institutions in the country. He eventually merged the company with GreenPoint Financial in 1999 and went on to become the President and CEO of the lucrative organization.
Although Peter was plenty busy running his own company, he still found time for those weekend trips to wine country and enjoyed learning all that he could about the sciences and intricacies behind the state’s premium vineyards and wineries.
In 1999, Peter had an opportunity to start a winery and he jumped at the chance. The winery was called Grove Street, and it was located in the esteemed Russian River Valley. Peter quickly built Grove Street into a largescale, recognizable brand and distributed the wines into a number of prestigious local restaurants. The wines were high quality and received nice recognition in the wine press, but Peter began to desire that boutique winery feel and the pleasure of having his own name on the label. In 2008, he sold Grove Street Winery and focused on building a new, smaller label he named Peter Paul Wines.
Peter turned to the veteran winemaking duo of Daniel Moore and Jeff Morgan (affectionately known as M-Squared) to help him establish the Peter Paul Wines label. Peter wanted the company to be based on artisan winemaking methods, producing wines with a vision of terroir, and offering them at reasonable prices to the public. Daniel and Jeff were on board, and helped Peter select prominent vineyards to source his fruit from.
“Daniel and I had long term relationships with well known growers, so having access to premium fruit wasn’t a problem,” co-winemaker Jeff Morgan recently explained. “Daniel lives in the Russian River Valley, and I live in Napa Valley, so we decided to split the winemaking duties based on our proximity to the grapes. Daniel does the Pinots and Chardonnays from Russian River, and I take on the Cabs from Napa Valley.”
Because of the range of appellations and vineyards being utilized, Peter Paul Wines are made at two facilities - the Balletto Winery in Russian River Valley and Laird Vineyard and Winery in Napa Valley.
“Although we make wine at separate locations, we still help each other out, taste together, and advise each other during the process. Daniel and I have worked together for a long time, so we make a great team,” Jeff stated.
Since the first commercial release of Peter Paul Wines in 2008, the boutique label has grown to around 3,000 cases in annual production, and the wine press recognition has been monumental. Peter Paul Wines is the recipient of numerous medals, competitive ratings, and prestigious honors, awarded across the country for its stellar limited production wines.
Today, Peter Paul is busier than ever, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. He is the CEO of Headlands Asset Management LLC, an investment management company he founded in 2008, as well as the owner of West Biofuels, a research and development venture. He still finds time to involve himself with Peter Paul Wines, helping in the vineyards and cellar during harvest, and promoting the wines on his travels throughout the year. He also represents the wines at numerous charity auctions.
Peter’s daughter Jessica has taken on the role of winery president, and runs the marketing operations for the brand. Her long-standing love of agriculture and ranching is a passion that extends to viticulture and wine, and Peter Paul Wines is very dear to her heart.
All in all, the Peter Paul Wines team seems to have it figured out, concentrating on terroir/site-driven wines that are interesting, unique, and characteristic of the region. This namesake winery is an accomplishment Peter Paul is very proud of, and we are happy to introduce one of his incredible wines to you this month. Enjoy!
About the Vineyard
Peter Paul’s 2009 ‘Mill Station Road’ Pinot Noir comes from one of the coolest parts of the Russian River Valley, on a site farmed and managed by the famous Dutton family. The vineyard is unique in that there is enough warmth to ripen the grapes, but it is cool enough to achieve ideal acidity levels in the finished wine - and acidity is crucial in Pinot Noir production. Pinots from the Mill Station Road site have a distinctive fruit component that offers balanced flavors and a happy medium between ripe flavors and good acidity.
The Russian River Valley was granted appellation status in 1983 and today accounts for about one-sixth of the total planted acreage in Sonoma County. The region lies between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa in the south, and Forestville and Healdsburg in the north. The Russian River Valley is most often known for its success with cool climate varietals, most notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Jeff Morgan & Daniel Moore - Winemakers
Jeff Morgan and Daniel Moore share the winemaking duties for Peter Paul Wines, Jeff making the Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley and Daniel making the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from the Russian River Valley. Together, they have accumulated nearly 50 years in the wine industry, and their diverse professional background offers them a unique perspective from many different angles. Daniel Moore gained experience working for such noteworthy wineries as Martinelli and Lynmar, while Jeff began as an editor for the Wine Spectator and now makes wine under his own Covenant label.
Daniel and Jeff also operate M Squared Wine Consultants together, offering wine production, marketing, distribution, sales, and public relations to boutique wineries. Their experience and dedication to high quality, artisan winemaking has helped shaped Peter Paul Wines into the prestigious winery it is today.