Monday, January 16, 2012

In the News: Corison Wines

We are delighted to share that Cathy Corison has been named San Francisco Chronicle's 2011 Winemaker of the Year. This exciting news was announced on the first of the year.
Image courtesy Corison Wines
Cathy has made 25 vintages of her heralded Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Her tastes and techniques set her apart from her neighbors and colleagues soon after her move to Napa in 1975. As the SFC article explains, Cathy Corison is "Napa valley's unofficial voice of restraint.... After three decades of making wine, she shows that it's still possible to make a complex, restrained Cabernet that honors California's best traditions." With pronounced depth, fruit flavors, and smooth tannins, Corison Wines possess a modest alcohol level compared to the 14%+ levels of most Napa Cabs. As Cathy puts it, "A wine that just jumps out of the glass and punches you in the nose often doesn't have much more to say."

Cathy in her St. Helena winery. Image by John Storey, Courtesy SFChronicle

Cathy is a proponent of organic farming and has practiced organic techniques since acquiring her Kronos vineyard in 1995. She also recognized the impact and significance of terroir quite early in her career. As she explains, "Everyone was running over to France and coming back with a beret on, and trying to do exactly what they did in France. In Europe, riper was better. Here we have the opposite issues. We have sunshine and heat."

No berets here! Image by John Storey, Courtesy SFChronicle
In a statement on the Corison Wines website, Cathy explains, "My philosophy is to make complex wines that walk the fine line between power and elegance. I employ time-honored winemaking techniques, using only small French oak barrels sourced from several forests for complexity. Mine is a hands-off approach to winemaking; it is my job to let the vineyards speak."

Image courtesy Corison Wines
Cathy has held true to her tastes and visions in her vineyards and winery. She persevered not only as a woman in a male-dominated winemaking industry but as a skeptic of popular outlooks, opinions, and techniques assumed by her classmates, colleagues, and peers. She truly deserves the Chronicle's (and others') accolades. We wish her our congratulations!

Please contact your Wizards rep regarding the Corison Wines currently represented in our portfolio, including the Corison Cabernet Sauvignon "Kronos" from 2005 and Corison Cabernet Sauvignon from 2007.

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