Foley Johnson, PEJU

Heart of the Valley
2022 Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford

2024 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 28 | Lot No. 60
Vintage: 2022

Foley Johnson, PEJU

Heart of the Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon
Rutherford

20 cases produced

Highlights

  • 100% Rutherford, 100% estate fruit, 100% delicious
  • 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
  • Aging 18 months in 30% new French oak
  • Certified Sustainable

Description

Winemakers Michael Beaulac and Sara Fowler have been friends for over a quarter of a century, with over 65 Years of winemaking experience between them. Their wineries are Napa neighbors, situated in the historic Rutherford nested appellation. PEJU is celebrating its 40th anniversary with Foley Johnson hitting their 12th year in Rutherford.


Wine Facts

  • Sustainably produced
  • Wine is 100% estate grown and bottled

Sara Fowler

Winemaker, PEJU

Winemaker, Sara Fowler

Sara Fowler has been named Best Local Winemaker by Napa Valley Life Magazine in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She was raised on a 400-acre organic ranch in Kelseyville, where she grew up familiar with all of the nuances of farming, from driving a tractor at age 12 to brewing beer with her father and taking their pears to be made into brandy. One hallmark story of her childhood was the Christmas gift of copper wire and the components to put together a radio, rather than the Barbie doll she had requested. She and her family grew almost everything they ate, so from a young age she understood the principles of farm to table food and cooking.
She initially thought her life and career would focus on being an artist, but after she began working harvests and summers at Kendall-Jackson, she pivoted to studying viticulture at Fresno State and becoming a winemaker. Along the way she spent a year living on a sailboat in Mexico, which fed her drive to have adventures and see the world.
When she arrived at Peju in 2006 her first mission was to transition the estate vineyard into being organically farmed, which was accomplished in September 2007. This was a natural and fulfilling process for her, given her childhood setting on an organic property.
Sara has worked for several other Napa wineries and traveled and spoken widely not only on behalf of the Napa Valley winery community but also the Rutherford appellation as a Board member of the Rutherford Dust Society. She often serves as a wine judge, and regularly welcomes winemakers and coopers to taste wines with her at the winery. In fact, that is the origin of one of Peju’s most distinguished wines, The Experiment: over the years she blended Cabernet Sauvignon using a vast and diverse range of barrels and would accumulate feedback from colleagues, who enjoy tasting the same wine across many different barrels.
During her tenure to date at Peju she has grown the number of wines being made and today supervises the farming of the winery’s 204 acres of six estate vineyards in four different sub-AVAs of the Napa Valley. “My goal is to constantly improve the quality and focus of what we’re doing,” she comments. Sara also supports the winery’s green initiatives in the vineyards and the winery, in conjunction with Ariana Peju (who installed an array of 720 solar panels which supply 36% of the winery’s energy). Today she is directing the transition to sustainable farming in all of the estate vineyards. In addition, Sara appreciates the creative license she’s given to fine-tune vineyard practices as well as develop new approaches to blends.
When not at the winery, Sara loves salsa and swing dancing, drinking bubbles and is known as a great cook, perhaps most famous for her chilaquiles. “I love to feed people,” she says. She’s also an avid reader and the mom of two grown sons.

Country born: United States

Education: Fresno State - Enology & Viticulture
Worked abroad in Chile for Veramonte
Mentors: Jed Steele, Larry Levin, Michel Rolland

Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years

Honors / Awards:
Voted Best Local Winemaker in Napa Valley Life Magazine in 2016, 2017 and 2018

Winemaking Philosophy:
Known throughout the Napa Valley as a master blender, Sara has brought along a wealth of knowledge and creativity into the cellar since joining Peju in 2006. Sara's passion for Bordeaux varietals and knack for innovative blending make her the perfect fit to lead Peju's winemaking team. Her artisic approach towards crafting wine focuses on taking the best components from the Peju estate vineyards and blending them to create the finest possible finished product.

In September 2007, Sara headed Peju's efforts to gain organic certification in the Rutherford Vineyard and she is overseeing the winery's sustainable farming efforts in the Persephone and Wappo Vineyards with organic certification goals in the near future. This method of grape farming not only preserves the land and creates balance in the vineyard, but it also enhances the quality of the fruit.

Michael Beaulac

Winemaker, PEJU

Winemaker, Michael Beaulac

Merus and Foley Johnson winemaker Michael Beaulac, a Vermont native, joined the Foley Family Wines team in 2021, bringing over 30 years of experience working with premier luxury wineries.

Michael began his winemaking career when a chance opportunity presented itself while he was running a Portland, Maine jazz dinner club. There, Beaulac’s career pivoted when Tim Murphy of Murphy-Goode offered him a job one night, partly in jest. The opportunity was one that Beaulac was looking for, and he accepted his offer and moved to Sonoma County, California to work as a Murphy-Goode Winery harvest intern in 1989.

Beaulac spent an interim period at Laurier Winery in Sonoma’s Carneros region working as a cellar master with Merry Edwards from 1989 through 1991. This opportunity gave way to becoming assistant winemaker back at Murphy-Goode, where he spent four years developing new varietal programs for Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. In 1997, Michael Beaulac spent four years as winemaker for Markham Vineyards in St. Helena. Beaulac took his expertise to the next level, becoming Vice President of St. Supéry Vineyards in Rutherford in 2001, working closely with Michel Roland and Denis Dubourdieu. With years of experience and a deep understanding of the Napa Valley, Beaulac became General Manager and winemaker at Napa’s Pine Ridge Vineyards in 2009 where he oversaw the estate’s 160 acres. Beaulac credits his development as a winemaker to working with Michel Roland and Pine Ridge’s high standard for producing quality wines.

Michael’s winemaking philosophy starts in the vineyard. Truly knowing the land, soil, and climate allows him to showcase the exceptionally pure qualities of the diverse vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley. He says of his philosophy for winemaking, “Be proactive in the vineyards. Let the fruit find its balance. Do not force the wine to be anything it’s not. Let it express its typicity. Once in the winery the wine should be touched as little as possible, in a perfect vintage, we really shouldn’t have to do anything.”

Beaulac currently resides outside of Santa Rosa. When he is not in the vineyards, he enjoys hikes with his wife Cathy and their German Shepherd. He also loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen with different recipes.

Country born: United States

Years in the wine industry: 30+ years

Winery Distribution

Foley Johnson, PEJU is distributed in the following markets. Please contact the winery directly for the most up-to-date distribution information and to explore commercial opportunities.

Foley Johnson, PEJU Contact: Herta Bekensky Peju

Domestic:

  • Alabama ( M&J wines )
  • Arizona ( MAVERICK BEVERAGE CO )
  • Arkansas ( SOUTHERN GLAZER'S )
  • California ( WNEBOW FINE WINE AND SPIRITS )
  • Colorado ( MAVERICK BEVERAGE COMPANY )
  • Connecticut ( WINEBOW FINE WINE )
  • Delaware ( WINEBOW FINE WINE )
  • Florida ( MAVERICK BEVERAGE COMPANY )
  • Georgia ( EMPIRE DISTRIBUTING )
  • Hawaii ( JOHNSON BROTHER'S )
  • Idaho ( CS BEVERAGE BOISE )
  • Illinois ( MAVERICK BEVERAGE COMPANY )
  • Indiana ( CARROLL WINE & SPIRITS )
  • Iowa ( OKOBOJI WINES )
  • Kentucky ( RNDC )
  • Louisiana ( SELECT WINES )
  • Maryland ( WNEBOW FINE WINE AND SPIRITS )
  • Massachusetts ( RUBY WINES )
  • Michigan ( VINTAGE WNE COMPANY )
  • Minnesota ( MAVERICK BEVERAGE COMPANY )
  • Mississippi ( RNDC )
  • Missouri ( LOHR )
  • Missouri ( LOHR DISTRIBUTING )
  • Nevada ( CORJ DISTRIBUTORS )
  • New Jersey ( WINEBOW )
  • New York ( WINEBOW FINE WINE )
  • North Carolina ( JOHNSON BROTHER'S )
  • Ohio ( SOUTHERN GLAZER'S )
  • Oklahoma ( PREMIUM BRANDS )
  • Oregon ( VEHRS DISTRIBUTING )
  • Pennsylvania ( NORTHERN WINE )
  • South Carolina ( WINEBOW FINE WINE )
  • South Dakota ( OKOBOJI WINES )
  • Tennessee ( LIPMAN BROTHERS )
  • Tennessee ( EMPIRE DISTRIBUTORS )
  • Texas ( MAVERICK BEVERAGE COMPANY )
  • Utah ( RNDC )
  • Vermont ( FARRELL DISTRIBUTING )
  • Virginia ( JOHNSON BROTHER'S )
  • Virginia ( BREAKTHROUGH BEVERAGE )
  • Washington ( VEHRS DISTRIBUTING )
  • Wisconsin ( BREAKTHROUGH BEVERAGE )
  • Wyoming ( RNDC )

International:

  • Canada - Alberta ( Fluid Imports )
  • Canada - Ontario ( Le Sommelier )
  • Dominican Republic ( Varietals Worldwide )
  • South Korea ( LOTTE CHILSUNG BEVERAGE CO. LTC )
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