In 1995, Tony Peju was buying Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Chardonnay grapes from a vineyard in Pope Valley. He enjoyed the grapes, and when he learned of the opportunity to buy two contiguous properties for himself in Pope Valley in 1996, he was elated. The family named the new vineyard Persephone after the Greek goddess.
According to Greek mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and harvest goddess Demeter. She was abducted to the underworld when Hades, king of the underworld, was determined to make her his bride. Brokenhearted, Demeter refused to bestow another harvest until her daughter was returned. Zeus arranged for his daughter’s return, but because Persephone had eaten a few seeds from a pomegranate in the underworld, she was forced to forever return for part of the year. For the part of the year that she spends in the underworld, our vines are dormant, as this is Demeter mourning her daughter’s departure. When she reemerges in spring, Demeter celebrates her return, which is when our vines begin to come to life for the season.
We have a vineyard named after Persephone, but her story is also represented at all of our vineyards. We have multiple references to Greek Mythology at our Rutherford Estate, including a sculpture entitled “Eternal Cycle” by Welton Rotz that depicts the different stages of Persephone’s life.
Our 350-acre Persephone Vineyard produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Zinfandel.