CEO of Napa Valley winery Peju wins North Bay Influential Women Award
After years of working in the Peju vineyards and tasting room, Ariana Peju and her sister Lisa stepped in to lead the family business and oversee the winery’s six properties.
As co-owner and CEO, Peju is in charge of the winery estate, sustainability programming and business operations. With a drive to deliver innovative guest experiences, exceptional wines and warm hospitality, she is committed to carrying on the Peju family legacy by implementing green initiatives.
In 2009, the winery and vineyards were certified as both a Napa County Green Winery and a Bay Area Green Business.
Is there a major accomplishment you would like to share?
I managed the installation of solar panels that now provide more than 30% of the winery’s energy, the transition to 100% recyclable packaging and shipping materials, the growth of e-commerce channels, and the acquisition of the 100-acre Carneros estate in 2016.
What have you learned about your leadership style?
I keep my finger on the pulse of new marketing trends and what’s needed to remain relevant in our crowded, ever-changing industry. Whether it's through relationship building with clients or spearheading sustainability efforts, I drive growth through impactful initiatives that have helped expand our e-commerce presence with a fresh direct-to-guest experience.
What were the biggest obstacles you faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for myself and my team (during COVID) was maintaining PEJU’s brand identity while having to move away from what we were most known for: a walk-in friendly winery offering communal group tastings that are not only educational, but entertaining and fun.
What are you most proud of regarding the achievements of your company?
My sister Lisa and I along with longtime Peju winemaker Sara Fowler comprise a strong female leadership team. I make sure my team members feel heard, trusted and valued, creating an environment where women are empowered while effectively moving the company forward.