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Cattleya March, 2017
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The beautiful 2015’s – Cattleya Spring Release

Cattleya Wines has always focused on handcrafting special wines with a sense of place. So back in 2011, I started with individual vineyards—all estate vineyards—owned by the growers I work with and centered on high-end wines.

A winemaker is always exploring. I settled upon making three wines, but my commute around the hills of Sonoma always draws my eye to new sites.


Before Cattleya added a new single-vineyard wine to its portfolio, I promised myself there would be dedicated cuvées for expressing the region as a whole.


What is an AVA blend?

AVA stands for American Viticultural Area, a grape growing appellation. An AVA “blend” is meant to represent a larger area. It can be from one vineyard or several. I use “blend” in quotes because it is still 100% true to the variety (100% Pinot Noir or 100% Chardonnay), but is a blend because it can be from multiple vineyards.

AVA stands for American Viticultural Area, a grape growing appellation. An AVA “blend” is meant to represent a larger area. It can be from one vineyard or several. I use “blend” in quotes because it is still 100% true to the variety (100% Pinot Noir or 100% Chardonnay), but is a blend because it can be from multiple vineyards.

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The sourcing of grapes from different vineyards provides a larger palette of fruit to work with. You might be surprised to know how very diverse microclimates can exist within a closely defined AVA. That’s something I look forward to discussing with you in greater detail in another posting. Here I’ll just say that the bounty of an AVA blend can give you fantastic wine—and often at a more affordable price.

Shortly after we released Cuvée Number One, our friends and Cattleya followers began asking for a sibling to this Pinot Noir. Now we announce Cattleya Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. 2015 marks the first vintage for which we have both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir designated as Russian River Valley. These wines will now remain as the spring release with the single-vineyard cuvées moving to the fall. You, my most loyal and most appreciated followers, are the first to receive the release of these two wines. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Is bigger really better?

Large format wine bottles, that is. We think so, and here’s why: You may have heard that a bigger bottle allows for much longer aging of the wine we love. Why? Because there is so much more volume of wine per unit of oxygen that can squeeze through roughly the same area of cork. That gives us practical and admirable reasons for keeping bottles that are also simply a fun sight at any wine event. Always a wine collector in addition to being a winemaker, I started bottling larger formats with every vintage of Cattleya: Magnum (1.5L), 3-Liter, and 5-Liter bottles of each wine. My intention was to occasionally offer them for sale to our customers.

Now, for the first time, we are making these available. Overall production is very limited.

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Wishing for a Taste?

By now you may be wondering if you can get a taste of these special wines when you visit Sonoma County. Because we are still so very small, we can accept visits by appointment only. My wonderful assistant, Janet Horton, will be happy to meet you and show you around. Many of you already know Janet Horton; she has shepherded orders, answered your inquiries, and resolved any problems that have arisen. Janet’s assistance makes it possible for me to focus on creating the wines you love, while Janet does what she loves to do—help customers. Janet came to Cattleya Wines two years ago, just before my first son was born. As a winemaker I remember life events by harvests, and now I remember them by birth years as well! I am very excited to announce that Janet has agreed to wear yet another hat so that we can offer concierge tastings. You’ll have the opportunity to taste some special wines and maybe even sample some of our wines from the barrel.

You can contact Janet via email or phone at info@ravevinesandwines.com or 1.888.597.2297. We certainly look forward to hearing from you!

I am truly excited to introduce these wines to you.

Sincerely yours,
Bibiana