n 2007, Founders Bruce and Cheryl Lawton were inspired by a prehistoric cave visit in the Lot River Valley of France known as “Pech Merle”, or "Cave Under The Hill". Pronounced “pesh-mael”, this authentic gallery of prehistoric art dating back 25,000 years BC would lead them and Creative Director Ivy Rose Hutton to create a brand that would be cool, unique and emotional, just like their visit to the caves.
Focusing on single vineyard designate wines, the team selects vineyards they feel will produce incredible wines within the AVA’s surrounding their property – Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley. The result to date? Nine vintages, seven varietals (including Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) and 170 medals.
The winemaking is led by John Pepe who notes, “the unbreakable bond between wine and food is the energy behind my overarching efforts in winemaking.” With over 39 vintages under his belt, John has held winemaking and management positions in a collection of California’s largest wineries including Kendall-Jackson and Beringer Vineyards, as well as small ultra-premium boutique producers Stonestreet, Pat Paulson Vineyards and The Lyeth Estate.
There are many exciting things on the horizon for the Pech Merle team. They are in the early stages of building a winery and wine cave on their breathtaking property in the Dry Creek Valley. The site will ultimately host many other custom crush wineries and will include underground caves that wrap around what will ultimately be the center of the property – their awe-inspiring 300+ year-old Oak tree. In the meantime, you can experience these fantastic wines at their chic tasting room in downtown Geyserville. It is definitely worth the trip!