Photo by Rocco Ceselin.
The love of farming and a passion for wine brought Anthony Peju to the Napa Valley. A series of ideas - starting in his birthplace on the Caspian Sea, then France, England and eventually, Los Angeles - created their Napa Valley winery.
Tony Peju was studying film at LACC and UCLA when he met Herta Behensky (HB), his future wife. HB encouraged him to start the winery, and together with her help, a Mustang as a down payment, landscape companies, florist stores, buying and selling properties, looking all over Southern California for an appropriate 500 acre farm site - Napa Valley seemed to be the right place.
In 1982, they purchased 30 acres of land with the magic ingredient - location. Neighboring vineyards at Rutherford included Robert Mondavi, Inglenook and Beaulieu. Situated between Highway 29 and the Napa River, the acreage included a 1900-era house and rambling vineyards, some 60 or more years old, planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and French Colombard.
Looking to the future, Tony and Herta have introduced their two daughters, Lisa and Ariana, to the workings of the wine business. Both of the young women are immersing themselves in all aspects of Peju Province Winery.