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Stories from The Lodge at Blue Sky

Stories from The Lodge at Blue Sky

Drink A Weekend with Peter Michael Winery

Peter Michael Vineyard

Renowned Peter Michael Winery takes residence at Blue Sky from July 21-23 for a weekend of wine in the Wasatch mountains. We caught up with Peter Kay, Director of Sales from Peter Michael, to learn more about the passion and skill that goes into producing these special vintages.

 

What drew Sir Peter to the wine-making industry?

Sir Peter grew up in a wine loving family. His father took him to the great vineyards of Burgundy and Bordeaux as a young man. In the 70s he was splitting his time between the UK and Silicon Valley, where he was running a tech company he founded. He spent many weekends in the California wine country and fell in love with the place. In 1976, two events cemented his desire to start a wine project in California: First, a dining experience at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where he discovered truly fine California wine. Second, George Taber’s coverage in Time magazine of the famous Judgment of Paris Tasting, where an all French expert tasting panel blind tasted top California wines against top French wines. California wines won both the red and white flights.

 

What distinguishes Peter Michael from other wineries in the region?

Our Knights Valley vineyards are the only vineyards planted on the slopes of Mount St. Helena, providing a unique terroir. All of our wines garner top accolades, rare for a winery with a portfolio as broad as ours.

 

Can you tell us about the passion that went into creating the 2012 Peter Michael au Paradis that won the #1 distinction in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year?

Au Paradis is a reflection of the winery’s dedication to producing “grand cru” quality wines that reflect the terroir of an individual vineyard. The Oakville Estate was purchased specifically to provide a contrasting terroir of equal quality to our Knights Valley Estate, the source for our flagship Les Pavots Estate Cabernet Sauvignon blend. This was the first time the winery had purchased an established vineyard, as opposed to starting with unplanted land. Even though the vineyard had an exceptional reputation before we acquired it, we spent two years improving it before making the first vintage of Au Paradis in 2011.

How has climate change impacted the way that you conduct your operations?

Throughout history, vintage variation due to climate is an aspect of terroir that impacts the resulting wines. While each year the climate appears to be more extreme, we hold true to our sustainable practices, and modify only as needed each year, throughout the seasons. We are also fortunate to have Javier Avina, our vineyard manager of thirty plus years who knows our estates incredibly well.

 

What excites you about the future of winemaking at Peter Michael Winery, and what are you excited to try differently?

Peter Michael Winery started with a simple vision from the Michael Family that is summed up in our six-word mantra which is on the back of every bottle: “Mountain vineyards, Classical winemaking, Limited production.” The goal has always been to craft wines that authentically express the vineyard’s terroir with balance, finesse and elegance. For us it is not about doing things differently, but rather slowly evolving our practices in both the vineyard and winery to improve the execution of the Michael Family’s vision. We are currently applying this philosophy to the development of 18 additional acres of Chardonnay on our Knights Valley estate adjoining our existing Chardonnay vineyards.

 

Why are you looking forward to partnering with The Lodge at Blue Sky on this experience?

Peter Michael Winery has such limited wine availability that we have to be very selective with the consumer dinners we are able to host throughout the year. The Lodge at Blue Sky was such an easy decision to make. Not only does Blue Sky have a breathtaking location, gorgeous accommodations and world class food, but the uniqueness of the experiences you offer is like nothing we have seen before.Stories from The Lodge at Blue Sky

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