Vintner and jazz vocalist Peggy Raley-Ward loves the creative process and sharing its fruits with others.

By Lynn R. Parks | Photograph by Carolyn Watson
From the October 2018 issue


Peggy Raley-Ward knows what a world without art would be like. “It would be a soulless place, without any heart,” she says. “A lifeless, colorless place.”

With art, though, the world is “a prism with a hundred different colors, blazing through. And we should all be excited about identifying each of those colors, or at least experiencing them.”



Raley-Ward isn’t referring strictly to paintings when she speaks of art — though at Nassau Valley Vineyards, which she owns and operates with her sister and partner, Suzette Hopkins, a museum about the history of wine features a gallery space; the Delaware Watercolor Society holds a show there every year, as does the Coastal Camera Club.

In discussing art, she also includes music, dance, fine food and yes, fine wine, allowing that “there are many versions. But with all of it, there’s a creative process. Artists of all kinds feel the care and joy of creating something that they love and that they want to share with people.”

Raley-Ward has two creative passions in her life: the production of wine and making, listening to and promoting music, in particular straight-ahead jazz, or what she calls “real jazz.” In both cases — placing a bottle of chardonnay or merlot on the shelf, for example, or belting out a snappy version of the Rodgers and Hart song “This Can’t Be Love” — she’s doing something she believes enhances her life as well as the lives of others.




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