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Pahlmeyer’s progress: From smuggled vines to Napa favourite

Founded in the 1980s by a wine-loving lawyer who smuggled in vines from France, Pahlmeyer, has become a Napa Valley institution. Today it is run by brilliant winemaker, Katie Vogt, who took over winemaking duties when Pahlmeyer was sold to Gallo in 2019. Jonathan Cristaldi gets the lowdown.

Pahlmeyer is one of Napa’s best-known wines. It is famous for its top-shelf Cabernet and Chardonnay releases, and for the fact that it has unprecedented access to some of California’s most coveted sites: Stagecoach Vineyard and its own, Atlas Peak Proprietary Vineyard.

Today a critical darling and a brand that takes pride-of-place in collector’s cellars, Pahlmeyer’s success was built from the ground up; thanks to a little bit of smuggling skulduggery and canny hiring of winemaking talent by its eponymous creator.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores of eight Pahlmeyer wines to try

Jonathan Cristaldi’s take: Eight Pahlmeyer wines to try

Wines were not tasted blind

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