Jayson Pahlmeyer


Jayson Pahlmeyer crafted his first wine in 1986. His aim was to achieve a “California Mouton,” and straight-from-the-source clones were – in his mind – a necessary component. Working with viticulture professors at the University of Bordeaux over the course of three years, Jayson obtained vine cuttings of the most ideal Bordeaux varieties to produce the greatest intensity of flavor and complexity of character. The prize vine cuttings were smuggled into Napa Valley and planted in 1981. Several years later, Jayson wowed the wine world with his debut vintage of Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red. In 1993, Jayson recruited the great Helen Turley to make his consistently award-winning wines.

Vintage after vintage, Pahlmeyer continued to live up to Jayson’s audacious dream – producing phenomenal wines of power and finesse. Along the way, Jayson fell head-over-heels in love with Pinot Noir. “Every oenophile eventually gravitates to the wines of Burgundy,” he confesses. Read More>

Helen Turley discovered Wayfarer for sale in 1998, then an organic farm on the remote Sonoma Coast. When she brought Jayson to the secluded property, he instantly sensed it had all the essential elements to produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and claimed the land as his own.

Jayson recruited renowned vineyard developer David Abreu to plant Wayfarer, which he completed in 2002. For several years, Wayfarer Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were blended with fruit from Russian River vineyards and bottled under the Pahlmeyer moniker.

By 2012, the vineyard’s exceptional fruit presented an irrefutable case for an estate label. Jayson's daughter Cleo Pahlmeyer, who had been working by his side since 2008, made his vision for this remarkable vineyard a reality with the launch of the first Wayfarer wines in 2014. Jayson explains, “One of my proudest moments as a vintner and father was when my very talented daughter came to me and said, ‘When it comes to the future of Wayfarer, I am all in!’” 

Cleo Pahlmeyer


Inheriting her father’s vision and verve, Cleo Pahlmeyer is the new generation of Wayfarer.

Raised in Napa, her education took her east where she received a BA in Art History from the University of Virginia, and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Connoisseurship of Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.

Returning to the family winery after working in the international art world, Cleo has worked closely with her father since 2008 to learn every aspect of the family business. Cleo began as a sales assistant, answering the phone and entering orders, and went on to manage direct to consumer sales and marketing, then public relations. In 2017, she was appointed President. 

When it came time to realize Wayfarer’s estate label, it was obvious who would bring the energy and expertise needed. "The great wines of the world do not come from a blend of various sites; they hail from individual vineyards, specific vineyard blocks," Cleo says. "Wayfarer is no exception, and it has been the opportunity of a lifetime to bring these wines to life."  

A mother of three, the vineyard is now beloved by her children too, not to mention her husband, Jamie Watson, who pours his own passion for wine into Wayfarer.  “I must be my father’s daughter,” Cleo explains, “because like him, I have naturally gravitated to Pinot Noir. Wayfarer is a very special place for me personally. It has a soul that can only be felt by breathing in its air, walking on its soil, feeling its warmth."

Todd Kohn


Wayfarer Winemaker Todd Kohn has deep roots in Northern California. He grew up in the town of Redding, just three hours north of Sonoma. Graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology, Todd always enjoyed science, and had a strong desire to work with his hands. During his first harvest internship—at the California sparkling wine house, Schramsberg—he fell in love with wine, and the dedicated work of harvest.

Additional internships, focused in the vineyard, lab and cellar, helped develop Todd’s thorough knowledge of winegrowing and winemaking. Experience at several premiere Napa Valley wine producers, including Opus One, soon led to an opportunity in Australia, at Moorooduc Estate. Working in the Mornington Peninsula region of Australia gave Todd invaluable insight into growing and crafting world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—great preparation for his role at Wayfarer.

Todd joined Wayfarer in the beginning of 2013 as Assistant to the Winemaker. Over the next 5 years, he worked hand in hand with the Consulting Winemaker to define Wayfarer’s vineyard practices and winemaking techniques, before taking the helm as Winemaker in December of 2017.