A visit to Peju Winery

Peju Winery, Napa Valley

View from the Peju Tower

Tasting Room at Peju Winery

Tasting Room at Peju Winery

Stained Glass at Peju Winery

Sunflowers at Peju Winery

Kitchen at Peju Winery

Tower at Peju Winery

Garden at Peju Winery

Balance-Sculpture-at-Peju-Winery-Napa-WineryCritic-copy

Peju has always been one of my favorite wineries to visit when in Napa.  With its iconic 50-foot tower and prime position on Highway 29, Peju is impossible to miss.

On this particular sunny Napa morning I was greeted by about 1,000 sunflowers framing the vineyard. Sunflowers remind me of France, and it all made sense when I learned that Tony Peju designed the winery after being inspired by his travels to the south of France.

Still family-owned, Tony and Herta Peju, as well as their daughters, Lisa and Ariana, run the business.  I walked through the immaculate sculpture garden on my way to the tasting room.

Dan Gaffey, the winery’s Marketing Manager explained that the winery has a strong focus on environmentally-conscious farming. Peju is one of only 21 wineries in Napa that is Certified Organic.  And the environmental focus doesn’t stop there.  As one of the first wineries to install solar power, there are 720 solar panels on winery roof provide 40 percent of Peju’s energy.  Peju is now a Napa Green Certified Winery.

What you see here on Highway 29 just scratches the surface.  To keep up with demand, the winery also farms 350 acres in Napa’s Pope Valley.  About 80 percent of their wines are available only at the winery.

I liked the way the tastings in the tasting room are organized.  You arrive in a waiting area, then each visitor or group is escorted into the tasting room with several different counters to ensure a relaxed, personalized tasting experience.  I also found the boutique here impressive with dozens of cooking and wine books, ceramics, accessories, maps and local Napa souvenirs.

As Dan walked me through the kitchen he explained what most people don’t realize; Peju has many great culinary experiences.  From cooking with a chef, to a farm-to-table luncheon, it sounded like a great way to spend some quality time learning about the local food as well as the wine.  And, a new way to experience the winery for the many people who have already visited Peju.

Expert tip:

Take your wine experience to the next level with a fun, interactive cooking class or farm-to-table luncheon experience hosted by on site Chef Emily Buller.  Why book a restaurant when you can have a lunch personally prepared for you by a chef at a winery like Peju?

WineryCritic Ratings

8/10 Overall visitor experience

8/10 Knowledge of guide

10/10 Location

9/10 Architecture and design, landscaping

8/10 Other experiences: Food pairings, Private tastings

8/10 Knowledge of tasting room staff

9/10 Friendliness of staff

10/10 Signage & ease of access

8/10 Quality of the wines poured

Appointment required:  No reservations required for tasting.

Address: 8466 St. Helena Highway (Highway 29), Rutherford, CA 94573
 (Located on Hwy 29, 1 mile north of Oakville Grocery Store on the right side of the road)

www.peju.com  

Tasting room hours:  10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

Tasting fees and experiences:

  • Peju Classic Tasting: $20 per person, tasting fee is waived with any $35 wine purchase.  
No reservations necessary for up to 7 guests.
  • Peju Private Tasting: $30 per person.  Groups of 8 or more.
  • The Peju Reserve Tasting (60 minutes) $75 per person, 2-8 people.
  • Hosted in the Uluru room on Friday, Saturday and Sundays at 10am, 11:15am and 12:30pm.
  • The Peju Private Tour, Barrel Tasting and Current Release Tasting (60 minutes) $50 per person, 2-8 people. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 10:00am, 11:30am and 1:00pm. 
Reservations required
  • The Peju Private Wine Tasting with Artisan Cheeses (60 minutes) $65 per person. 2 – 12 people. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2:00pm.  Reservations required.
  • Peju Interactive Expérience Culinaire $210 per person (2 hour culinary experience & chef-hosted farm-to-table lunch). Reservations required.
  • Peju Chef de Table, $139 per person, (2 hours including private tasting and chef-hosted farm-to-table luncheon). Reservations required.

Good for:  Good for Napa first timers, Culinary enthusiasts, Cabernet enthusiasts

Wines produced:  Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Rosé, Red & White Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Franc has a cult following, Red blends.

What’s nearby: St Supéry, Beaulieu, Grgich Hills, Sequoia Grove, Cakebread

Appellation/District:  Rutherford, Napa Valley

Contact for appointments: 1-800-446-7358 or tastingroom@peju.com

Date of visit: July 18, 2013

E-mail:  mindy@winerycritic.com

Comments

  1. I love this Winery peju it is a fun place to enjoy great wines. Every time I visit the Napa Valley I make sure to stop at Bennett Lane Winery and peju. I’m currently a club member at Bennett Lane Winery and they have the best wine club that I have found in the Napa Valley. My wife and I will be visiting these two wineries this summer. Till then I order my wine from their websites http://www.bennettlane.com

    Thank you for the great info!