Ray and Pam Derby moved to the Central Coast area in the early 1990's with the intention of retiring. In 1998, they purchased their first vineyard property, now known as Derbyshire Vineyard and their thoughts of retirement were replaced by the inspiration of being a part of the wine world. In the years following, Ray next acquired the historic Laura's Vineyard (in east Paso) and then the Westside property, now called the Derby Vineyard. Needless to say, their plans of retirement never came to fruition.
After experiencing nearly a decade as a grape grower, the potential strengths of each property became apparent and in 2008, Ray and Pam launched Derby Wine Estates. They are extremely selective in terms of what goes into the bottle under the Derby label. The commitment to the land is appreciable, with only 20 hand-selected acres being used to provide fruit for their own brand. Grapes from the remainder (some 90%of their total acreage) are sold to some of the finest wine producers in California.