A family success story
—Peachy Canyon is one of the original family-owned Paso Robles wineries that got its start in the 1980s when the area was not widely known for wine production. It is somewhat unique in that it remains owned and operated by the founding family to this very day.
Doug and Nancy Beckett, both retired schoolteachers, founded Peachy Canyon in 1988. When the opportunity to purchase the old schoolhouse and surrounding property on Hwy 46 West presented itself in 1998, they knew it was the perfect place to expand their business with a tasting room and additional estate vineyards. The schoolhouse tasting room is now a busy hub for visitors with wine tasting offered daily. Guests can enjoy a view of the 30-acre vineyard surrounding the tasting room and relax while picnicking on the lawns and at the gazebo.
The winery has gained a reputation for its red wines, with zinfandel representing approximately 50% of its production. Their estate vineyards have all 18 heritage zinfandel clones, including primitivo, planted. Although zinfandel dominates the menu, guests will also have an opportunity to sample Bordeaux and Rhône Varietals, along with several blends.
In 2019, the day-to-day operations transitioned to Josh and Jake Beckett, Doug and Nancy’s sons. The boys had branched out on their own for a while and launched Chronic Cellars. Their success from that venture put them in a position with knowledge, experience, and financial stability to take over the reins from their parents at Peachy Canyon.
As the second generation, they came in with ideas for change and wanted to shape the future with the hopes that it would still be a thriving business for the third and future generations in years to come.
“We have taken our sustainable practices from the past and carried them over to an organic approach. We are looking to the future for our soil health, the history of our vineyards and what will be left for generations to come.” Said Josh Beckett
Often when the next generation takes over, they think of growth and increasing production. Josh and Jake took a different approach and scaled production down while focusing on estate growing practices and the quality of the wine in the bottle. “When my parents retired, and Josh and I took over the day-to-day winery operations we set out to focus on our estate vineyards and smaller production. That was in 2019, and at that time we were making around 60,000 cases a year. For the 2020 vintage, we produced 9,000 cases and over 80% of it was from our organically farmed estate vineyards. Our goal for the future is 100% estate wines and to keep production small and ultra-premium. Our next leap will be to start replanting some vineyard blocks that need replanting and to graft a small block over to white varietals to reach our goal of 100% estate wines,” said Jake.
The family has made Peachy Canyon a huge success with the winery ranked in the top 100 wines in the world by Wine Spectator magazine, and its many wines have been ranked with 90-point-plus scores, often for multiple vintages. The most recent accomplishment is being named Winery of the Year at the Central Coast Wine Competition.
“Nancy and I are really proud and impressed with the continued success of Peachy Canyon Winery under the management and direction of both Josh and Jake. The wines are the best ever, supporting our selection as Winery of the Year for the Central Coast. Josh and Jake are the best,” said Doug Beckett.
Peachy Canyon Winery Tasting Room is located at 1480 Bethel Road, Templeton. Open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit peachycanyon.com or call (805) 239-1918.
— Lisa Pretty