Buy Peter Michael Wine
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Buy Peter Michael Wine
The winery was established by Peter Michael and his wife Margaret in 1982. Michael's background was in technology and had founded the digital picture company Quantel in the UK in the early 1970s. He arrived in California in the early days of the Silicon Valley tech boom and soon invested in a winery.
The winery released its first vintage in 1987 and has since enjoyed a high level of critical acclaim. Three of Michael's wines have ranked in the top 10 of Wine Spectator's Top 100, and since the 1995 vintage, 14 wines have been rated 98 points or higher by US wine critic Robert Parker.
Peter Michael's property in the Knights Valley AVA is at a much higher altitude than many others in the area, with vineyards reaching as high as 2000 feet (610m) above sea level. The result is cooler growing temperatures, which allows for wines in the more restrained old world style.
Peter Michael Winery needs no introduction. Year after year their exquisite, artisan releases bring pleasure to people all over the world, and it all started in 1982 when Sir Peter Michael founded the winery on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges on the western face of Mount St. Helena. From the beginning, the philosophy was modeled on French winemaking tradition and governed by three principles: the vineyard terroir would be the single most important feature, the wines would be lightly elegant rather than powerful and a hundred-year commitment would be made to the development of a great estate.
Peter Michael, a leading Sonoma County winery, is expanding into Napa. The Knights Valley producer has purchased the Showket Oakville Vineyard, a 41-acre property including a residence and 26 acres of vineyards. The purchase price was not disclosed.
"I think Peter Michael is now complete," said winemaker Nick Morlet. Peter Michael was founded in 1982 by Sir Peter and Lady Maggie Michael and is best known for its flagship Bordeaux-style Les Pavots, from their estate property in Knights Valley in eastern Sonoma. They also make single-vineyard and estate-grown bottlings of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Kal and Dorothy Showket purchased the Oakville property in 1988, planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese. For years the Showkets sold grapes to several producers, including Caymus, Dalla Valle and Shafer. When the Showkets decided to make their own wine, they enlisted winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett. Newcomer Russell Bevan took over with the 2006 vintage. Recently the wines have been on an upswing, with their 2007 Cabernet scoring 92 points.
Peter Michael will take control of the vineyard beginning with the 2010 vintage, and the first wine will be released in 2013. For the last few years, the Showkets had been selling grapes to Bevan for his namesake label, Bevan Cellars, but the new ownership does not plan to sell grapes. Bevan is disappointed he will lose this vineyard source, but was able to purchase 35 tons of Showket grapes in 2009 (up from 8 tons in 2008). "I've contacted neighboring vineyards to keep the Bevan label going, but I'll never be able to replace Showket Vineyard," said Bevan.
Raised on Bordeaux and Burgundy, Sir Peter credits the taste of a Chateau MontelenaChardonnay while visiting San Francisco in 1973 as the inspiration to make California wine. Many California wineries have similar origin stories, but they usually feature dreams of making the next great California Cabernet rather than world-class Chardonnay. Sir Peter, it turns out, would go on to do both.
The Colgin Syrah is vinified from four separate one acre parcels at IX Estate each with its own site specific attributes. All four plots have a different clone and rootstock combination along with soil changes which create four distinctive components. To craft the most complex final blend, we painstakingly ferment and age all lots separately, selecting only the finest lots. Fermentation and maceration resulted in an average vatting tim