A winery very much in the image of its founder and owner, the irrepressible Jayson Pahlmeyer, Pahlmeyer’s wines have an exuberance and all-American charm. Full throttle, yet with an underlying subtlety, these wines are in the top echelon of what California has to offer. Jayson Pahlmeyer started out as a trial attorney, but was then waylaid by a “hypnotic captivation with wine” and a conviction in the potential of northern California’s vineyards. With the aim of creating a “California Mouton” he partnered with the owner of a 55 acre vineyard site in the south-east Napa Valley. Convinced that they key to quality lay in securing the best French clones of the Bordeaux varieties, he sought the assistance of various professors of the University of Bordeaux. Pahlmeyer legend has it that after careful deliberation and analysis they recommended that he grow corn. He did get there in the end though, and eventually arrived back in California with his suitcase clones. Planted in 1981 the vines adjusted to Californian conditions “at a snail’s pace”. But still, in 1986, Randy Dunn visited and, after issuing the sage advice: “don’t screw it up” was recruited as their first winemaker for the Proprietary Red in return for being allowed to purchase almost all of the crop. Pahlmeyer’s current winemaker is Kale Anderson who arrived at Pahlmeyer in 2012 with big shoes to fill, and seems to be doing just that.