Inheriting her father’s vision and verve, Cleo Pahlmeyer is the new generation of Wayfarer.
Raised in Napa, her education took her east where she received a BA in Art History from the University of Virginia, and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Connoisseurship of Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.
Returning to the family winery after working in the international art world, Cleo has worked closely with her father since 2008 to learn every aspect of the family business. Cleo began as a sales assistant, answering the phone and entering orders, and went on to manage direct to consumer sales and marketing, then public relations. In 2017, she was appointed President.
When it came time to realize Wayfarer’s estate label, it was obvious who would bring the energy and expertise needed. “The great wines of the world do not come from a blend of various sites; they hail from individual vineyards, specific vineyard blocks,” Cleo says. “Wayfarer is no exception, and it has been the opportunity of a lifetime to bring these wines to life.”
A mother of three, the vineyard is now beloved by her children too, not to mention her husband, Jamie Watson, who pours his own passion for wine into Wayfarer. “I must be my father’s daughter,” Cleo explains, “because like him, I have naturally gravitated to Pinot Noir. Wayfarer is a very special place for me personally. It has a soul that can only be felt by breathing in its air, walking on its soil, feeling its warmth.”