Kitchen Q&A with Peter J. Vella
Over a glass of California chardonnay, we speak with Peter, Vice President of Winemaking and Senior Winemaster at Gallo.

By Mim Koletschka | May 29, 2008

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  • Kitchen Q&A with Peter J. Vella
    Peter J. Vella

Hoping to win over drinkers unfamiliar with wine, Ernest & Julio Gallo and Siam Winery have come together to introduce two simple wines to our market, the Peter Vella Classic white and red.

What makes your wines unique?
We take very traditional wine-making methods and we apply those to carefully grown grapes that we really manage hands-on to capture the fresh fruit. This is the style of wines we are making for the Thai market. We want that fresh fruit to come through.

What is your proudest achievement?
Lasting 44 years in the business. Also, seeing the evolution of wine in the United States, which went from a non-wine drinking to a wine-drinking country. And it took some 50 years.

Thailand is such a small market, why bother?
Because Thai people deserve great wine. We want to achieve the same thing in Thailand that we managed in the US, that is convert the population to wine-drinking.

What kind of personalities do your wines have?
They are fun wines. These are wines you can drink and enjoy even if it is the very first time you have ever tasted wine.

What is the secret to choosing the right bottle of wine?
Knowledge and experience are really the key, but I also think you need to trust your instincts when you are purchasing a bottle. And don’t be afraid to ask.

When was your first sip of wine?
Oh gosh, I was probably six years old. I come from an Italian culture, but it was watered down—my grandfather didn’t want to give me straight wine!

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