Press & Reviews

Fall 2023 Release Letter

By Cleo Pahlmeyer, September 2023


2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Golden Mean
2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Mother Rock
2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Paige's Ridge
2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir The Traveler
2021 Wayfarer Chardonnay Cuvée Cleo


Dear Friend,

I am honored to introduce the final release of our 2021 wines, the Wayfarer Block Selection Pinot Noirs and Cuvée Cleo Chardonnay.  The 2021 vintage is Wayfarer’s tenth, but Wayfarer’s beginnings started more than 20 years earlier when my father, Jayson Pahlmeyer, first stepped foot on the warm earth and breathed in the cool coastal air of what would become Wayfarer Vineyard. 

Jayson always dreamed of making wines that would drop you to your knees, and he knew right away that this land, on the edge of what was believed capable of ripening wine grapes, had all the indicia of a world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard.

Once I began working with my father, I soon recognized how extraordinary Wayfarer fruit was becoming with each vintage, and it became clear that we should be making estate wines from our vineyard.  So, more than a decade after my father planted Wayfarer Vineyard, I had the incredible opportunity to bring Wayfarer wines to life. 

I believe that the greatest wines of the world – in particular the most distinctive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays – come from truly special, specific sites, and even individual blocks or vine rows within a vineyard.  Wayfarer Vineyard is designed as 30 one-acre blocks, each planted to an individual clonal selection – 11 Pinot Noir clones and 4 Chardonnay clones in all.  Our Block Selection Pinot Noirs come from the most distinctive blocks within Wayfarer Vineyard, and each has a truly unique personality. 

2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Golden Mean

Golden Mean is a mathematical term for the beautiful middle between two opposites, and this wine is so named because it is a blend of two distinctive clonal selections, Swan and Pommard.  The Swan clone shines first with opening notes of delicate rose petals, strawberries, cranberries and a hint of violets, followed by more robust Pommard aromas of brambly blackberries fresh off the vine with hints of iron and blood orange.  The palate showcases an ethereal entry from the Swan and ends with the sublime texture of Pommard, but it’s impossible to tell where Swan ends and Pommard begins.  This wine isn’t just a beautiful middle – it’s more than the sum of its parts.  160 cases produced.

2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Mother Rock

Mother Rock, a co-fermentation of Dijon and Mount Eden clonal selections, opens with mineral aromas and pure scents of raspberry, wild cherry and boysenberry, as well savory notes.  In 2021 we included whole clusters in the fermentation tank, and this shines with fantastic texture and density on the palate, along with silky, persistent tannins.  It is a great joy to see this wine come together so seamlessly, a wonderful representation of the beautiful 2021 vintage at Wayfarer.  170 cases produced.

2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir Paige’s Ridge

Paige’s Ridge comes from Block 8, which is situated along a perpendicular ridge in the vineyard.  A sensational range of floral notes – violets, lilies, lavender and more – along with bright red cherries, fresh anise and hints of baking spices come together in the intoxicating aroma.  The palate has the opulence Paige’s Ridge has become known for, with a touch more acidity and structure than in prior vintages, bringing both intensity and harmony to this wine.  60 cases produced. 

2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir The Traveler

Over ten vintages, The Traveler, our “suitcase clone,” has shown it is a wine with extraordinary personality.  A chameleon in the glass, we do our best to taste wines blind, but its ability to transform gives it away.  From roses to pomegranate, white truffles to dry flowers, blood orange to fresh herbs, this wine is constantly revealing itself, and it will age beautifully in your cellar for at least a decade.  150 cases produced. 

2021 Wayfarer Chardonnay Cuvée Cleo

Cuvée Cleo is the best two Chardonnay barrels of the vintage.  Everything we love about our 2021 The Estate Chardonnay is in this wine, plus more. Aromatically, it leaps from the glass with notes of white flower petals, jasmine, hawthorne, white peach and a multitude of stone fruits. Reflecting our terroir and the 2021 vintage perfectly, this wine evokes the power of sunshine at our high elevation, and the stony, mineral notes of our cooling coastal influence.  50 cases produced. 

Thank you sincerely for your continued support! 

Best regards,

Cleo Pahlmeyer