February Wine Club

Mar 14, 2024

We are so thrilled to share with you first, the new vintage of our very own Peony Wines! When discussing our family in the wine industry, I realize I’ve never shared the whole backstory and thought this would be a perfect time. In 2000, my dad, Chris, and stepmom Honore moved to Healdsburg in Sonoma County to a home with an acre vineyard of old gnarly Cabernet vines. On the winemaking side – As new growers and winemakers, we sold our family grapes for the first two years at Yoakim Bridge Winery, which they blended with theirs. In 2002, my brother Daniel moved to the area and worked his first harvest at Quivira Winery, and he and my dad decided to make our own wine from the vineyard. We all helped with harvesting, foot-stomping in coolers, and bottling with funnels in the garage. As my brother got more serious, he followed the harvest to and from Australia several times and then studied enology at Fresno. Dan is the founder of Elevation Custom Wine, Executive Winemaker of Paradise Ridge, Founder of Fitzgerald Wine Co. which make the notable Daniel wines, with his wife, Barbara, and stepmom and dad, Honore & Chris. Also, the winemaker of our Peony wines! My sister-in-law Barbara comes from a great family history of wine in California. The Pellegrini family held the 4th wine-growing license in California (for perspective, my family is somewhere in the 20,000s.) Barbara is now an Italian wine ambassador among one of her many hats in the global wine industry. You can follow her at Apri La Creative Consulting. On the business side of things, when my dad and Honore moved to Healdsburg, they thought one of them should be involved in the hometown industry. Honore started marketing at Pezzi King Winery; from there, she went on to the Australian South Corp (Rosemont and Penfolds), then Director of Sonoma Vintners, and now she is the VP of International marketing for the California Wine Institute. Our families’ love for wine and sharing it just continues to grow to this day.

Cheers,
P. & E. Mullins

2023 Peony White

Lodi, California

This 100% Vermentino is sourced from a single lot Ledbetter Family Vineyards in Lodi, CA. These Vermentino vines are planted on the bench in rocky, well-drained soils and along the edge of the Molekumne River in sandy soils. The vineyards are farmed regeneratively. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed to the tank and cold-settled overnight. The resulting juice was racked off heavy solids into tanks and neutral barrels. Fermentations were 100% indigenous. The tank portion was fermented cold to retain aromatics, while the barrel fermentations were carried out without temp control to promote yeast for palate texture and complexity. The wines were not allowed to go through malolactic fermentation to preserve acidity. Aged in neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel for 9 months. This wine showcases a pale straw color in the glass, an introduction to the delightful sensory journey ahead. The nose opens with an enticing bouquet of stone fruits, lemon custard, orange blossoms, and flint, promising a complex and captivating experience. Upon tasting, the palate is greeted with a dense, bright profile marked by mouthwatering acidity. Flavors of hard lemon candies and white peaches take center stage, leading to lingering notes of verbena and ginger on a delightful, memorable finish. Only 45 cases were produced and available at P. + E. Bottle Shop.

2023 Peony Rosé

Mendocino, California

Our first-ever rosé is quite a special one, made of 100% Grenache from one of the most historic vineyards in all of California. Gibson Ranch vineyard is owned by Scot Bilbro and is nestled in Mendocino’s high elevation. The vineyard boasts California’s oldest identified grenache vines, dating back to 1910. These towering Grenache vines have taken root deep in the earth, impressively growing to the sky and requiring apple-picking ladders to harvest fruit. They’ve withstood numerous historical events, natural phenomena, and climate challenges, making them a testament to Grenache’s resilience and this unique vineyard’s enduring legacy. The grapes were picked at night, and the cluster pressed immediately upon arrival. The newly pressed juice was cold settled in the tank overnight, then racked off heavy solids to neutral oak barrels. The barrels were left to ferment with indigenous yeast. All barrels underwent weekly stirring until a month before bottling to build texture, mouthfeel, and complexity. Aged in 100% neutral French oak for three months. This wine’s alluring pale salmon-pink hue draws you in with its visual charm. The aromatic bouquet is a symphony of watermelon, quince, and Anjou pear, enticing the senses. As you sip, the palate comes alive with the vibrant fresh raspberry dance, a melon rind, and a subtle, spicy hint of red chili flakes. This exquisite combination creates a captivating wine that will surely please the discerning palate. Only 24 cases were produced and available at P. + E. Bottle Shop.

2021 Peony Red

Sonoma, California

100% Nebbiolo sourced from the Albini family, who arrived to California from Northern Italy in 1913. They ran small dairy farms in Tomales, Bodega, and along the coast for decades before moving to Sonoma in the 1950s. Since then, they’ve focused on cultivating the esteemed Italian Nebbiolo grape. John Albini’s vineyard flourishes in deep alluvial soil, basking in full sunlight and benefiting from the cooling Petaluma Gap breezes. John farms his vines without pesticides or fertilizers, a practice he describes as “farming the way it should be done.” This respect for the land and its bounty is evident in the quality of his grapes. 2021 will be remembered as an outstanding vintage. The growing season suffered almost no frosts. March and April were mild, followed by windless days during flowering and no heat spikes during ripening. Cluster weights and berry sizes were reduced due to the ongoing drought, which led to concentrated flavors and color in the wines. While yields were lower than growers and wineries hoped, these vintage promises to be a tremendous quality for wine lovers. The grapes were fermented in a 1.5-ton fermenter with 30% left whole cluster for enhanced complexity. After a cold soak, indigenous yeast kick-started primary fermentation. Punch downs occurred 3 times daily during peak fermentation, then decreased at 10 brix and below. Draining and pressing at 1 Brix helped avoid harsh phenolics. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in a barrel without racking until bottling, using gravity for all wine movements. Aged in the traditional Barolo style for 3 years in neutral oak barrels. This Nebbiolo wine boasts bright acidity and nuanced complexity. Aromas of cherries, roses, violets, leather, licorice, and anise create an inviting bouquet. Firm tannins and flavors of cranberry and black tea mark the medium-bodied palate. Pair with rich, creamy dishes to balance tannins and highlight Nebbiolo’s intricate character. As is typical for Nebbiolo, the wine’s brick hue will mellow with age, yet it remains lively and vibrant, ensuring a long and enjoyable evolution. Only 45 cases were produced and available at P. + E. Bottle Shop