About Us, Winemaking & Blog

Wayfarer - Pahlmeyer's West of West Vineyard

By Cleo Pahlmeyer, March 22, 2013

Jayson Pahlmeyer’s passion for big, bold Bordeaux-style blends is legendary, the raison d’etre for his creation of Proprietary Red Napa Valley. Less known is his passion for Burgundian wines. The debut bottling of Jayson's new Wayfarer Vineyard label will release in Fall 2014. We invite you to accompany us on the journey and sign up for our mailing list at wayfarervineyard.com.

“Eventually every oenophile gravitates to the wines of Burgundy,” he  says.  In 1999, Jayson purchased Wayfarer Farm at the urging of his winemaker, Helen Turley. “Helen always said that to grow great Burgundian varietals you need a warm spot in an otherwise cool area,” he says. “Some of my happiest memories are of developing this vineyard.”

Since 2005, fruit from  Wayfarer Vineyard has delivered increasing vibrancy to Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vineyard sits high atop a ridge in the center of one of America’s newest appellations: Fort Ross-Seaview.  Located in what some call the “extreme Sonoma Coast,” the new AVA is recognized for its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its steep, mountainous terrain and peaks of up to 1,800 feet. Though high in elevation, the climate is warmer, with longer periods of sunlight, than the land below. 

Map of Wayfarer Vineyard; Photo of Jayson Pahlmeyer and Bibana Gonzalez Rave

“I can’t imagine a more exciting and dramatic terroir,” says consulting winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez Rave. A specialist in Burgundian varietals, Bibiana trained in France where terroir is everything.  In her, Jayson has found a rising star to take this vineyard to new heights. Bibiana joined the team to oversee our Sonoma Coast vineyard and wine production last summer, just in time for one of the most acclaimed vintages on record.

At the “West of West” tasting in New York City last month, where wines from West Sonoma Coast are showcased, Bibiana presented Wayfarer-designated barrel samples from the 2012 vintage. Critics and enthusiasts alike “were blown away by the quality,” she says.  It’s very early in the 2012 wines’ evolution, but for Bibiana the response confirms her belief that producing wines true to what this vineyard has to offer will yield extraordinary Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.


Photo of Wayfarer Vineyard; West of West Festival logo