John and Gill Wagner live part time in Los Angeles and spend the rest of their time at Peake Ranch. John grew up in Ventura County working on his family's lemon and avocado orchards. He attended UCLA and completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Physics. John pursued a career in finance, but always wanted to return to agriculture. He has completed the UC Davis Certificate in Winemaking. Gillian was born in England, but has lived in the States for many years. Gill serves on several boards, the most important relating to the homeless situation in Los Angeles. Gill completed the first section of the UC Davis Certificate in Winemaking and was then defeated by the chemistry. John and Gill have two sons, Tom and Joe.
Their connection with the Santa Barbara wine world began about ten years ago and has grown stronger ever since. They fell in love with the beautiful countryside, the amazing hospitality of ‘wine’ people and, of course, the wonderful wine made in this magical region. Their commitment to the area was sealed when they purchased Peake Ranch and decided they wanted to build a winery and a small house on the property.
Peake Ranch has a wonderful history full of special people who roamed the land. We respect that legacy and plan to honor it in every way we can; from the way we grow our grapes, to the people they surround ourselves with and the hospitality they plan to extend. They are excited to become part of a very special community.
“Our connection with the Santa Barbara wine world began about ten years ago and has grown stronger ever since.
We fell in love with the beautiful countryside, the amazing hospitality of ‘wine’ people and, of course, the wonderful wine made in this magical region.
Our commitment to the area was sealed when we purchased Peake Ranch and decided we wanted to build a winery and a small house on the property.
Peake Ranch has a wonderful history full of special people who roamed the land. We respect that legacy and plan to honor it in every way we can; from the way we grow our grapes, to the people we surround ourselves with and the hospitality we plan to extend. We are excited to become part of a very special community.
With respect to the sense of gratitude we feel, each year Peake Ranch will support a special cause. For our fifth vintage we have chosen The Dian Fossy Gorilla Fund. Their mission is dedicated to the conservation, protection and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa. Their successful, integrated approach includes close collaboration with local governments and communities as well as partners from around the world.
Wynne Solomon grew up in Sonoma County, in the town of Windsor, and fell in love with the wine culture there. Being raised by a teacher and counselor, her pursuit of winemaking was her own path, stemming from a passion for chemistry and cooking. She moved down to the Central Coast to study Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in 2010. She began making wine with Stephen Ross Winery in the Edna Valley and moved down to the Sta. Rita Hills to continue pursuing cool climate winemaking with Melville Winery. She joined the Peake Ranch team in 2018. She worked with Paul Lato in blending the 2017 vintage and made the 2018 vintage hand in hand with him. She inaugurated our new winery and tasting room with the 2019 harvest. Her vision for Peake Ranch is to focus on the unique attributes of this area while emphasizing balance in Californian wines.
Mike spent most of his life in vineyards and viticulture is both a profession and avocation. He grew up working in his family’s grape nursery leading to an early interest in viticulture. After finishing his education at UC Davis Mike served as a researcher, author and educator at his alma mater for 30+ years. He was also vineyard manager for the University’s legendary Oakville Station. Mike joined the Peake team in 2017 and looks forward to continued viticultural adventures.
After a long career in the financial industry on the East Coast, Eric Grant, and his wife Kathy, relocated to California to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Having been good friends of John and Gillian Wagner for decades they brought Eric into the Peake Ranch family as head of marketing. He has been marketing our wines since August 2016. His learning curve in the wine business has been steep to say the least and he is enjoying every minute of it.
Perry began his journey down the rabbit hole that is the food and beverage industry over ten years ago as a craft beer nerd living in San Diego. Upon a chance meeting over oysters, he found himself working for the iconic Los Angeles wine company Wally’s Wine and Spirits for the better part of a decade as buyer, sales, sommelier, and general Swiss Army Knife when it came to wine service. He joined the Peake Ranch team to help manage sales, hospitality, and customer relations.
Daisy, the Vineyard Dog, was born in Mississippi, but at an early age decided to move to California to further her career as a vineyard supervisor. While still working on her gopher eradication skills, she maintains a strong oversight of Peake Ranch.
In honor of the most recent charity we are championing, The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, we have adopted a baby gorilla in Rwanda. Suraurwanda, meaning visit Rwanda in honor of the growing tourism sector in Rwanda, was born in November 2018. His favorite pastime is playing with his best friend Ihiriwe, another one year old gorilla. The two of them spend most of their resting time running and chasing each other, engaging in long wrestling games. You can frequently hear their loud laughter in the group.
Learn more about the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund HERE!