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.
“Yellowstone Forever is the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. Our mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Yellowstone National Park through education and philanthropy.
Yellowstone Forever builds upon the nearly 100-year legacy that began in 1933 with the Yellowstone Library and Museum Association. We connect people to the park through outstanding educational programs and exceptional visitor experiences, and we translate those experiences into lifelong support to ensure the park remains for future generations.
We raise money to fund priority projects that protect Yellowstone's ecosystem and wildlife, preserve the park's resources and infrastructure, and enhance visitor and education and experiences. We offer educational programs for visitors of all ages through the Yellowstone Forever Institute, and operate 11 educational Park Stores in and around Yellowstone."
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.
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.