Introducing the 2017 Cattleya Collection Series

When I was a girl growing up in Colombia, I dreamed about making wine, an almost unheard-of desire in a nation unfamiliar with vineyards and the culture of wine consumption. Despite the fact that the country was at that time submerged in violence and drug trafficking, I remained ambitious about becoming a vintner. It took a great deal of hard work, a lot of dedication, and unwavering perseverance, but I eventually made this dream a reality.

This year, almost three decades after I first vowed to become a winemaker, I’m proud to announce that Cattleya Wines is releasing The Collection Series, its best cuvées ever. All three Collection wines have been consistently and highly praised by wine reviewers. Fall’s releases offer perfect illustration of this unforgettable 2017 vintage. Jeb Dunnuck called Belly of the Whale a wine of “finesse and elegance with beautiful fruit,” The Initiation a wine of “thrilling purity,” and the Call to Adventure, “another sensational wine from this incredible winemaker.”

Indeed, 2017 was an eventful year for me. California experienced a series of three successive heat spikes and a devastating wildfire after the harvest. The year also saw the birth of my second son and the end of an era I spent consulting for the Pahlmeyer family. In France, where I trained, I was taught to be very close to the vineyard and in California, from the start, I’ve sourced the best fruit I can find. Growing up in a difficult and often frightening place encouraged me to be independent-minded, taught me to be resourceful, and prompted me to rely upon my own judgment–all traits that serve me well in my work as a winemaker.

My wines will always remain terroir-driven, but now that I’ve come into my own as a winemaker, I’ve chosen to mark the occasion by giving my wines names that celebrate the spirit of adventure driving me.

And so, with great pleasure, I introduce Cattleya’s Fall wines, named after successive stages in The Hero’s Journey, Joseph Campbell’s brilliant description of transformation across cultures, and which provides readers a metaphorical roadmap of the path we all take toward individual transformation.

Call to Adventure

(Previously, Pratt Vineyard Chardonnay)

Call to Adventure represents a pivotal moment in my career as winemaker and for my own label. Its new name acknowledges it as a wine that is distinctive, distinguished, and top-notch. Call to Adventure has been accorded accolades by Jeb Dunnuck, distinguished as one of the Wine Advocate’s top ten wines, and described by PinotFile’s Rusty Gaffney as “a wine to please those looking for both fruit and minerality.”

This wine originates from fruit supplied by Jim Pratt. As you well know, I first met Jim in 2012, when I faced for the first time the challenge of locating the very best fruit. A relationship that started out modestly has developed to include fruit sourcing for Cattleya, Alma, and Shared Notes.

For detailed information on the crafting of this wine, click here.

Belly of the Whale

(Previously, Donum Vineyard Pinot Noir)

All things change, but in winemaking as in science’s Law of Conservation, nothing is lost. In Campbell’s retelling of the hero’s journey, the hero goes inward in order to be born again. Passing into the belly of the whale, the hero does not die, but is transformed. 2017 will be the last vintage I craft with fruit from the Donum Vineyard. (I look forward to announcing a new sourcing site next year.) I became involved with this vineyard because of my great respect for Anne Moller-Racke and her passionate involvement with the land she farms. For those who particularly love this wine, please know that we made a total of only 78 cases.

For detailed information on the crafting of this wine, click here.

The Initiation

(Previously, Soberanes Vineyard Syrah)

There is one particularly astonishing moment in all love stories which occurs when you first fall in love. With the 2011 vintage, my husband Jeff Pisoni encouraged me to start my own label. A single barrel of Syrah from the Soberanes vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands marked the beginning of Cattleya Wines. The initiation of my adventure with this fruit has developed into this gorgeous Syrah.

For detailed information on the crafting of this wine, click here.

Praise for Cattleya 2017 Collection Series

With these three 2017 wines, the latest in Cattleya Wine’s ongoing expedition to create extraordinary quality alongside a unique sense of its terroirs, I share the full story of my life as a winemaker. Just as I have experienced moments of fear alternating with joyous times, I know that you have, too. Over the course of our lives, we all face moments of challenge, go through initiations, receive rewards, and are transformed. With these wines of which I am so very proud, I invite you to adventure with me. Drink, share, and enjoy these wines which make every day a special occasion.

As always, thank you for your continued support of this exhilarating journey.



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