Cathy Corison – USA-California (Corison Winery)

May 8, 2018

Name: Cathy Corison

Country: USA-CA

Cathy Corison

Currently: Winemaker-MD at Corison Winery




Please, tell us about how you got into wine, the wine industry and how your career developed?

Studying Biology at Pomona College 40 years ago, I took a wine appreciation course on a whim. Wine grabbed me by the neck and ran with me and I’ve never looked back. Upon graduation from college I moved to the Napa Valley, with a brief detour to UC Davis to get a master’s degree in winemaking. I’ve been making wine ever since. I love wine for all the usual reasons: it’s delicious and makes food taste better (and vice versa) and you share it with friends and family. For me there is another dimension; wine is alive on so many levels. It is the result of a whole series of living systems, all conspiring to fill your glass with magic.

What is your philosophy to making wine and viticulture?

I spend most of my energy out in the vineyard. Great grapes make great wine. In fact, I can’t make a wine any better than the grapes that come into the winery. At that point I try to stay out of the way. My winemaking is very traditional and non-interventionist. My wines are moderate in alcohol and firmly structured. The goal is to make wines that are both powerful and elegant at the same time, speak of place, grace the table and enjoy a long, distinguished life.

Which cultivar is your favourite to work with and why?

I love the wines of the world but I live in the Napa Valley so I’m a Cabernet Sauvignon specialist. Cabernet needs a lot of heat to get ripe but it also requires cold nights to produce complex flavors, inky color and maintain good natural acidity. Napa Valley is one of the few places in the world blessed with such a huge diurnal temperature range. My little corner of the world is the Rutherford bench- alluvial fans spreading out from the western hills between Rutherford and St. Helena. Cabernet grows as well, or better, on these well-drained soils, than anywhere in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon has the capacity to produce truly noble wines of power and elegance.

How do you see the future of wine production and what are the challenges and the opportunities?

I hope we’ll see continued diversification, with winemakers exploring the many myriad niches in California. I’m gratified to see the resurgent interest in matching grape varieties to the very best sites in California. I think our best wines are yet to come.

Cathy Corison


@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions –

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