About Us, Winemaking & Blog

An Audacious Dream

The Pahlmeyer story begins with an audacious dream given life through the dedication and hard work of an inspired Napa Valley visionary: Jayson Pahlmeyer. 

 

A trial lawyer by trade, Jayson Pahlmeyer was captivated by the idea of a Napa Valley wine of such exquisite quality, complexity and prestige that it would rival the best of Bordeaux, specifically Château Mouton Rothschild. This historic estate had, at the time, recently been elevated to Bordeaux First Growth classification. This inspired Jayson’s insatiable thirst for adventure and reaffirmed his belief that Napa could be elevated to iconic status. Jayson’s dream of creating a “California Mouton” was born.

By 1986, storied Napa Valley winemaker Randy Dunn composed the first Pahlmeyer wine, Proprietary Red. This Napa Valley Bordeaux blend was crafted from French-sourced clones of five red Bordeaux varieties that Jayson had planted in 1981. Anointed 94 points by Robert M. Parker, Jr. upon its release, the 1986 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red launched Pahlmeyer’s astonishing track record of acclaim. Visionaries that helped define and shape the prestige of Napa Valley, like Helen Turley, Bob Levy and David Abreu, added to Pahlmeyer’s legacy of success. 

Today, Pahlmeyer wines are crafted through a steadfast commitment to the principles of site, discipline and high quality of First Growth Bordeaux coupled with the signature richness, power and depth of Napa Valley. Pahlmeyer wines are built on a foundation of extraordinary mountain vineyard sites and confident, discerning viticulture choices that demand maximum flavor intensity. 

Led by the diverse expressions of exclusive high-elevation mountain sites, including Stagecoach Vineyard, Pahlmeyer Estate Vineyard and Rancho Chimiles, these wines offer exquisite structure, balanance, tension and finesse. Under the leadership of winemaker Katie Vogt, meticulous attention is paid in the vineyard and cellar to allow the highest, clearest expression of the site to shine through. With an eye toward long aging, Pahlmeyer’s hallmark intensity and power is crafted through an impressive barrel program and artful blending of each small lot. 

The Pahlmeyer collection features three coveted Napa Valley wines: the iconic Proprietary Red and our classic Chardonnay and Merlot. In vintages of exceptional quality, Pahlmeyer crafts three exclusive and highly allocated wines: Pièce de Résistance Cabernet Sauvignon, Raison d’Etre Cabernet Sauvignon and Savoir Faire Chardonnay. For more than 30 years, Pahlmeyer has continued to live up to the original audacious dream — craft world-class wines of exceptional distinction, power and finesse.