About Us, Winemaking & Blog
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Photo: James Chiang
Aerial view of our Wayfarer Vineyard, situated 6.75 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Fort Ross-Seaview Appellation.
Aerial view of our Wayfarer Vineyard, situated 6.75 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Fort Ross-Seaview Appellation.
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Photo: James Chiang
A Pinot Noir cluster begins veraison, benefiting from the vineyard's intense solar radiance and cool coastal air.
A Pinot Noir cluster begins veraison, benefiting from the vineyard's intense solar radiance and cool coastal air.
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Photo: James Chiang
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Photo: Ryan Heffernan
A weathered wooden fence punctuates the rugged landscape of the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.
A weathered wooden fence punctuates the rugged landscape of the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Wayfarer Vineyard: Sonoma Coast

Wayfarer vineyard is extraordinary and unforgiving – 30 undulating acres hidden beyond rising fog and redwoods on a remote reach of the Sonoma Coast. This distant landscape is the provenance of wildly beautiful wines born of risk, rigor and mastery; small-lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific's most dramatic appellation.

Wayfarer Vineyard is organized around a primary ridge, King Ridge, which shares its name with the winding mountain road that leads to the site. The King Ridge dominates the slopes of the vineyard while smaller, more subtle slopes run perpendicular to it. The intricate structure of the main ridge with smaller under-ridges is the result of a long process of erosion, that has taken place over the past 50,000 years.

Wayfarer’s distinctive weather patterns are defined by both coastal influence and site elevation. At 1,100 feet in elevation, the vineyard enjoys extended sun exposure. It resides 6.75 miles – two coastal ridges – from the Pacific, and chilly ocean winds moderate vineyard temperatures as generous sunshine keeps the site warmer than its lower-elevation surroundings. This warm spot in an otherwise cool area allows our fruit to ripen slowly, evenly and fully – maintaining a balanced acidity while achieving remarkable concentration and complexity. Expert viticulturalist David Abreu strategically divided the site into 30 one-acre blocks, each dedicated to a single clone determined to be the best match for the block’s sun aspect, elevation, and slope – 16 distinct clones in all. 

The area receives generous winter rainfall – typically 30-50 inches. Wayfarer’s well-drained Goldridge soil allows great permeability, forcing our vines to delve deeply for water, making them less vigorous and more drought-resistant. During the later stages of the growing cycle, evening fog often rolls up the ridge and blankets the vineyard through the night. By late summer or early fall, this fog may linger past noon, ensuring cooler temperatures and slow, steady ripening of the fruit.

By 2012, the vineyard’s exceptional fruit presented an irrefutable case for a namesake label. With Jayson’s daughter, Cleo Pahlmeyer, leading the charge and Bibiana González Rave lending her talent, Wayfarer is an endeavor of true passion – an experiment that pushes the exactitude of winegrowing and winemaking to the farthest limits.  The debut vintage of the single-vineyard Wayfarer released in October 2014.  Visit wayfarervineyard.com to join the mailing list and accompany us on the journey.

"Simply put, the new Wayfarer wines are brilliant... Textured, deep and intense... No detail has been overlooked, so it is hardly a surprise to see how well these wines have turned out... There are a lot of new projects on the Sonoma Coast. Wayfarer is easily among the most exciting."
- Antonio Galloni, The Undiscovered California, Vinous February 2014