The First Offering of Cattleya’s The Reward and Large Format Bottles

In time to honor the turning year and the approaching holiday season, I’m very happy to announce the release of The Reward 2017 Cattleya Syrah, a rare wine perfectly suited to complement this singular time of year.

The Reward, Cattleya’s own selection massale, derives from eighty Syrah vines carefully tended in the Santa Lucia Highlands by vineyard manager Mark Pisoni at Pisoni Vineyards. The Reward 2017 Cattleya Syrah is a labor of love that marks the culmination of my two decades of experience as a vintner. No other vintners in California cultivate this particular Selection Massale of Syrah, whose unique materials derive from France. The vines are the product of a selection I brought back from Côte Rôtie nearly a decade ago. With these grapes—the vines’ own reward following seven years protecting the scions of a suitcase clone—I have created a single and singular barrel of a wine acclaimed as “a treasure trove abundant with flavor and finesse.”

Bibiana in Côte Rôtie, 2001
Bibiana in Côte Rôtie, 2001
Bibiana fermenting The Reward 2017
Bibiana fermenting The Reward 2017

Harvested on October 18th and cold-soaked for ten days, the entirely destemmed fruit began its native fermentation in a sixty-gallon oak barrel. I completed punch downs by hand once a day in order to encourage the extraction of the most vibrant tannins as well as to create this Syrah’s beautiful color and aromas. After fermenting for thirty-five days, the wine was drained into a small barrel before being hand-bottled in large format.

In its majestic form as well as its extremely limited release, The Reward calls out for celebration. To bring an impressively-sized bottle to a gathering is a generous gesture. Elegant, intense, and complex, this wine is in many ways the apex of achievement for me as a vintner. I offer it to you in the spirit of celebration. Have fun together during the holidays with this rare wine, a special reward which can beckon as the focal point of a holiday gathering.

Coming from a new parcel in the Pisoni Vineyard planted to a Côte Rôtie suitcase clone, the 2017 Syrah The Reward is more floral and elegant compared to the more gamey, overtly powerful Syrah The Initiation release. It has a beautiful perfume of black raspberries, cassis, exotic flowers, and cured meats. It too displays full body, ripe tannins, incredible class and balance, and a great finish. Released only in magnum, it’s going to have two decades or more of prime drinking.  96 points, Jeb Dunnuck

The Reward

Following upon my previous release of Call to Adventure, Belly of the Whale, and The Initiation, The Reward is a distinctive cuvée which beautifully sums up both the inaugural year of Cattleya wines and my twenty-year journey as a vintner. In previous years, I bottled Donum Vineyard Pinot Noir, Cuvee Number One, and Soberanes Vineyard Syrah in large-format bottles. But The Reward is the first wine Cattleya has bottled exclusively in 1.5 L magnums. A big wine, its grand size invites friends and family to gather to celebrate the holidays, just as will the other red wines I have bottled in large format sizes. These earlier vintages are almost entirely sold out in the 750 ml format; to save a bottle of your favorite, be sure to order it soon.

Big Bottles for Big Occasions

We have a small assortment of various large formats from different vintages. Due to the limited quantities available, please call us at 888-597-2297 or email us at to obtain a large format bottle for your special occasion.

Our Alma de Cattleya wines are perfect for big events. To place an order, please follow this link:



Contact Me

Please fill out the form below and I will get back to you shortly.