Explore our Wines

WINES

The Collection

Specific sites within

SONOMA, NAPA
& SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS

  • Temptation often leads to desire.
  • Discovering the secrets of this wine’s terroir is only a sip away.
  • There’s wisdom to be found in a glass of wine.
  • Do you dare to enter the Belly of the Whale?
  • A treasure trove abundant with flavor and finesse.

It’s a well-known fact that before I felt my calling to study Viticulture and Enology in France, I studied Chemical Engineering. What is less known is that I’ve always had a little bit of a bohemian spirit in me who wanted to become a philosopher.  Now that I look at all the wines made from dedicated vineyards, specific locations and clones, I can see my journey reflected in my choices of these places. The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the mythic structure of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, inspired me to the names of this series of wines.

The different steps in my journey in life and as a winemaker are reflected in the wines you will taste. And just as I chose those specific winegrowing sites, I hope you will relate to them through your own journey.

the site

location

Choosing a site to make wine that would showcase its inner essence takes time, motivation, and a clear understanding of what you want to obtain from it.

In 2011, I started Cattleya Wines with one single barrel (equivalent to 25 cases, or 300 bottles) of Syrah from the Soberanes Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, an opportunity granted by my in-laws to work with their exceptionally farmed fruit that I still treasure today. In addition to the distinct vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands farmed by the Pisoni family, I venture throughout Sonoma and Napa Valleys, choosing unique locations with the purpose of crafting site-specific and sub-appellations terroir driven wine.

Enjoy this symbolic series of wines that are the culmination of a dream and my soul’s desire to turn a distant notion into something tangible. Know that I put my entire heart and soul into each wine. From our winery to your wine glass: enjoy, cellar, and share them while discovering California at its best.

chardonnay

Beyond the Threshold

Showcasing its youth through not only the green tinges of its straw-colored core, but also in the hesitancy to unveil its true character until it is swirled in the glass, this Chardonnay gains volume and depth in the form honeysuckle, white peach, and toasted hazelnut notes. A supple, fleshy mid-palate with effortless flavors of apple skin, lemon oil, and hints of sea air is balanced by a ridge of fresh acidity and a weighted, complex finish.

This exclusive small lot was harvested at night on August 31st and carefully transferred to the winery as the sun began to rise. The fruit was hand sorted and only the most pristine clusters reserved before being gently pressed in a small bladder press. The free-run juice was meticulously separated by taste, then settled overnight in stainless steel tanks before being transferred to barrels for native and malolactic fermentation in 75% new French oak. This wine then barrel aged over a period of 16 months, then bottled unfined and unfiltered on January 30th 2024.

Chardonnay

The Temptress

The 2021 vintage marks the second iteration of The Temptress. The wine is born from 16 years old vines growing in the heart of the Russian River Valley. This is a special selection of Old Wente clone that will entice your taste buds to unknown territories.  

The tight spacing of these meticulously farmed rows produces fruit with exceptional intensity and concentration of color and flavor. The end result is a wine of unmistakable purity that reflects the unique relationship between a truly special piece of land and the ideal climate that surrounds it. Harvest took place in the early morning hours of September 1st to the 6th. All of the fruit was gently whole-cluster pressed and the juice was cold-settled overnight before racking to barrel the next day for native fermentation in 60% new French oak barrels. Primary fermentation continued steadily over the following four months, followed by full malolactic fermentation. After an additional 18 months of peaceful aging in barrel, this wine was gently racked to tank before being bottled without fining or filtration.

pinot noir

Belly of the Whale

Pinot Noir is a notoriously fickle variety and one must be ready to accept the challenges that come with farming this grape. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. Belly of the Whale is crafted from Sun Chase Vineyard fruit which sits high a west facing slope in the southern portion of the Sonoma Coast appellation. The cool, high elevation slopes that act as a gateway to the rest of Sonoma County’s wine country. This wine is a perfect blend of clones 667 and 777. Full extraction of color and flavor was achieved through twice daily punch downs by hand, as cold-soak through end of fermentation in tank lasted 21 days. Once dry, the wine was racked to 75% new French oak barrels where it aged undisturbed for 18 months before finally coming to rest in bottle. 

Here we cross the threshold where we pass from the world we know into a realm rife with danger. The world grows dark. Inky black raspberry, damp earth, and dried and decaying flowers depict the profile of these grapes born of older Pinot Noir vines. Unfined and unfiltered, this is a wine capable of slumbering in your cellar for 10-15 years. The Belly of the Whale is the Sonoma Coast as you’ve never seen it before. There’s no going back.

Pinot Noir

The Goddess

The goddess is the epitome of all that is feminine. The meeting with the goddess is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the bon of love. Possessing within its dark, brooding ruby core a mélange of concentrated juicy dark berry and freshly ground Asian spice aromas with subtle earthy undertones. The Goddess is crafted from the Gold Rock Vineyard, situated atop an interior ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This wine is a beautiful blend of clones 777 and 115. The fruit was fermented with 100% indigenous yeast in open top stainless steel tanks. Twice daily punchdowns extracted remarkable color, tannins and flavor as cold-soak through the end of fermentation in tank lasted 22 days. The wine was then transferred to 85% new French oak barrels for 18 months. 

This is seen as the ultimate adventure and is represented by the marriage of the hero to the goddess. Here we taste femininity and masculinity converge in this singular wine. This Pinot Noir is bottled seduction through slowly unfolding, layered complexity. Black cherry, spiced vanilla bean, su bois, and sandalwood swirl on the palate and into an effortless, supple finish where tart acidity is blanketed in velvety, approachable tannins. 

syrah

The Reward

At the end of your quest, the Reward awaits. This is a new wine, created from cuttings I carried over from France. After nearly a decade of nurturing these vines, we finally see the fruits of our labor bear our own reward. Small bunches of jewel-like Syrah yield intense wine with exquisite finesse.

The final step in the journey awaits, where the most challenging trials are recognized we reap the bounty of our efforts. The Reward is as opulent as the most prized of treasures bestowed upon any hero. This Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah comes from our Family Ranch Vineyard and tastes of dusty red berries, dried herbs, bacon fat, and a hint of fresh earth that leads to a finish that is balanced by tannin and acidity, ensuring a long life ahead. We recommend aging your Reward for up to 10 years.

Syrah

The Initiation

The Initiation marks the true beginning of a quest. For my own journey, the Côte-Rôtie, home to some of the world’s most exquisite Syrahs, was where I worked my first harvests and made my first wines. My own initiation. My goal was to create a Syrah of great beauty and finesse. Sourced from the Soberanes Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, the Syrah for this cuvée is first cold-soaked then undergoes a long, slow fermentation. Initiation is aged in over 42% new French oak.

As we emerge from the perils found in the Belly of the Whale, we emerge upon the Road of Trials, the first step in the Initiation. The profile of this wine hearkens back to classic Côte-Rôtie, dark berries, white pepper, cedar, and cured meats. It’s bold and powerful, yet pure, like the hero making ready to be initiated into the next phase of his journey.

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