You could call Bibiana Gonzalez Rave (pictured above with her husband Jeff Pisoni) a soulful winemaker. So much that the the name of her winery, Alma de Cattleya, combines “Alma” the Spanish word for soul” and “Cattleya” the Spanish word for orchid (the national flower of Colombia). It’s her way of paying homage to her country. In past visits to Dallas, Bibiana talked about her love affair with the land and how its soul brings life into her wines. I’ve been lucky to try the past three vintages and I’ve found them to be excellent.
Alma de Cattleya was created in 2012 as an homage to her home country of Colombia, representing the soul of the land that gives life to her wines as well as her own soul which she puts into each bottle of wine.
From the age of 14, she knew she wanted to be a winemaker and she had a business background in chemical engineering and business before she moved to France to study viticulture and oenology receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Bordeaux. When in France, she worked at Château Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion in Bordeaux, Domainer Stephane Ogier and Domaine Clusel-Roch in Côte-Rôtie. She also travelled to work harvests in South Africa at Soronsberg Cellars in the Tulbagh region. Before starting her own labels, in California she worked at La Crema, Peay Vineyards, Au Bon Climat, Qupé and Lynmar Estate. She is married to Jeff Pisoni from Pisoni Wines I had a chance to talk about their story in May of 2020.
Her other labels include Cattleya Wines, Shared Notes Wines and Wines by Bibiana.
The two sample wines I had a chance to try included the rosé and chardonnay.
- 2020 Alma de Cattleya Chardonnay – notes of citrus, pear, a touch of vanilla, nectarine and apple. Nice complexity.
- 2021 Alma de Cattleya Rosé of Pinot Noir – notes of strawberry, roses, citrus, watermelon, citrus with a great minerality. Made with saignée juice and hand-sorted Pinot Noir clusters.
Bibiana’s story continues to combine the soul of Colombia with the heart of Sonoma making some amazing wine.