Last week was the annual Peay Vineyards Sommelier Love Fest, an event in which the good family Peay—Andy and Ami, Vanessa and Nick—host sommeliers from all over for a relaxed tasting, tour, dinner and all-night wine fest.
Peay Vineyards Moke Berg and Paul Einbund
Lots of local somms made the trip—including Jason Alexander from Gary Danko, Chris Deggan of NoPa, Paul Einbund from Coi, Moke Berg of Range, Raj Parr from Michael Mina, Christie Dufault of Quince, Jim Rollston of Cyrus, Robco of the Martini House and Andrew Mosblech of A16. What was more amazing is that most of these refined oenophiles slept in tents on the hills of the starry-skied Sonoma coast.
Naturally, the five-course dinner for 30 was exquisite—and cooked entirely by the Peay clan. It started with Peay wines, but those soon gave way to a rare and diverse collection brought by the guests themselves, including Txacoli rosé, a magnum of old Ici/Las-Bas Pinot Noir, Côte Rôtie from Jamet and a slew of fantastic Burgundies from Bonnes Mares of Le Moine to a couple of exquisite white Burgs from Roulot.
But the point was not the embarrassment of vinous riches (beginning with the Peay’s own splendid portfolio—to my mind, the wine that is beginning to explode for them is Syrah, of which the 2005 turned out far better than I imagined, and the 2006s in barrel are going to be legendary); but rather the degree of cohesion, camaraderie and affection which bonds the SF and (and Bay Area) sommelier scene together, contributing to make this among the rarest and most special of places when it comes to wine.