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John & Gillian Wagner

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 philanthropic boards, the most important relating to the unhoused in Los Angeles. John and Gill have two sons, Tom and Joe.

Their connection with the Santa Barbara wine world began when they fell in love with the beautiful countryside, the amazing hospitality of ‘wine’ people and, of course, the wonderful wine of the region. Their commitment was sealed when they purchased Peake Ranch and built a winery and a small house on the property.

John & Gill walking


Wynne Sargeant 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. After graduating in 2010 with a Wine and Viticulture degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she worked with both Stephen Ross Winery and Melville Winery. She joined the Peake Ranch team in 2018, inaugurating our new winery and tasting room with the 2019 harvest.


Mike spent most of his life in vineyards, and viticulture is both a profession and an 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 manager of the University’s legendary Oakville Station.  During this time, John Wagner enrolled in Mike’s viticulture class, eventually leading to a friendship and Mike’s post-retirement job at Peake Ranch in 2017.

eric grant

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.


Maria Nikolantonaki

Dr. Maria Nikolantonaki is the consulting enologist for Peake Ranch.  She was born and raised in Crete, Greece, and received her undergraduate degree in Viticulture and Enology from Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, Greece). Further study in Bordeaux, France, earned her a MS and Ph.D. in wine chemistry. Her exposure to California wine began with her post-doctoral position with Pr. Andrew Waterhouse at UC-Davis. Since the fall of 2013, she has been a professor at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. She brings a deep knowledge of wine chemistry and academic rigor to Peake Ranch.

Max Hara

Following completion of a Master’s at UC Davis in Viticulture & Enology, Max first came to Peake Ranch to work with Mike Anderson and learn more about viticulture. Subsequently, he joined Wynne in the winery and now serves as assistant winemaker. His background in science brings a valuable component to winemaking at Peake Ranch.



In a long tradition of Peake Vineyard dogs, Rita was born in Mississippi.  She felt her strengths were better suited to welcoming guests to our Tasting Room over plunging into cold water for a dead duck.  In a show of commitment, she changed her name to “Rita” in recognition of the Sta. Rita Hills where she “works”.

Each year the Wagner Family supports a charity that is making a positive impact in the world. Our 2021 Vintage supports World Central Kitchen.

“Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a nonprofit organization that is first to the frontlines providing fresh meals in response to crises. Applying our model of quick action, leveraging local resources, and adapting in real time, WCK has served more than 400 million nourishing meals around the world.

When disaster strikes, WCK’s Relief Team mobilizes with the urgency of now to start cooking and serving meals to people in need. By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of local restaurants, food trucks, or emergency kitchens, WCK serves comforting meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. To support regional economies, WCK prioritizes purchasing local ingredients to cook with or distribute directly to families in need. “

We know that good food provides not only nourishment, but also comfort and hope, especially in times of crisis. Learn more at wck.org.”

Photo credit to World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

Previously supported charities