Peter Newton was a California vintner, who owned Sterling Vineyards and Newton Vineyard in the Napa Valley. He founded Sterling Vineyard in 1964 with Michael Stone, and released their first wine in 1969. Sterling became known for its cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. Newton is also known as one of the first winemakers to plant merlot grapes in the Napa Valley, which was considered too temperamental by most vintners in the area. In 1977, Newton and his wife founded Newton Vineyard in St. Helena, California, which became known for chardonnays and merlots. In the same year, Sterling Vineyards was sold to coca-cola and was later sold to Seagram. Today it is owned by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines.