Press & Reviews

Wayfarer Vineyard: Winery of the Year | 2015

By Doug Wilder, pdwr, December 9, 2015
2015 | Setting the Stage
In late February of this year, I was putting the finishing touches on the North Coast issue of pdwr and had pretty much shut down tasting so that I could begin the task of compiling and writing. It was about that time I received an email inviting me to taste the unreleased 2013 vintage of Cleo Pahlmeyer’s Wayfarer Vineyard from the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, with the winemaker, Bibiana Gonzalez Rave…What ensued was the most memorable tastings of the year; culminating with the 2013 Wayfarer wines.

Why Wayfarer Matters
The late nineties saw increased interest in the new frontier of the true Sonoma Coast, closer to the Pacific Ocean than anyone had ever considered until the early adopters begin showing results. Jayson Pahlmeyer was introduced to the unplanted property now Wayfarer in 1998 by Helen Turley, his former winemaker who has her own property, Marcassin, not far away, and bought it on her recommendation. A decade after a 2002 planting, Pahlmeyer made two important decisions: He deemed the vineyard established enough to let it stand as its own brand and gave up the reins to develop and run the project to his daughter, Cleo. The David Abreu-planted site is composed of thirty 1-acre blocks of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Bibiana is Consulting Winemaker and also Vineyard Manager for Wayfarer. A native of Colombia, she earned her degree in Enology at University of Bordeaux and worked harvests in Bordeaux at Ch. Haut-Brin and Burgundy where she realized to be truly successful as a winemaker, one needed to also have intimate understanding of the day-to-day management in the vineyard. As vigneronne, complete control in the vineyard and winery allows her to fine tune every aspect towards he ultimate goal. The mere fact that she is reaching this level of quality in only the second vintage shows that Pahlmeyer is looking toward the future and making a bold statement with benchmark wines.
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