Cathy Corison: A Humble American Winemaker

Cathy Corison: A Humble American Winemaker

In loving wine, you soon learn this universe has no center.

INTERVIEW BY:

LINE

A HUMBLE AMERICAN WINEMAKER

   Cathy grew up in Riverside, California which is also known as orange grove country. Growing up Cathy enjoyed camping and backpacking in the San Gabriel and Sierra mountains. 

   Through college she became a Biologist and loves all things living. She likes to bird watch and go mushroom hunting. Getting to know Cathy I’ve learned that she’s a humble person that truly loves life and all it offers. In loving wine, you soon learn this universe has no center. Wine is this great confluence of history and innovation – a snapshot of ancient geologic moments, a bottling of a time and place,  and a canvas for daring risks in the vineyard and cellar. In truth, making wine, serving it, or drinking it often leaves us with more questions than answers. Few winemakers celebrate this ineffability as gracefully as Cathy Corison. 

   

   Cathy became a winemaker after taking a non credit wine appreciation course back in the early 70’s and it completely grabbed her and she fully embraced it. Cathy says she loves wine for all of the usual reasons, it’s delicious, food tastes better with it, and it brings people together, but layering on top of that she likes that wine has a whole series of living systems that conspire to the alchemy of what ends up in your glass.

GREAT GRAPES MAKE GREAT WINE

“Wine makers are farmers and I’m never far from that. If I have learned anything over all of these years, I can’t make the wine any better than the grapes that come in the door. And so I spend most of my time in the vineyard. Everything truly happens out there.” Cathy Corison. 

LEARNING ABOUT WINE

To learn about wine you have to simply pull a lot of corks. You can meet wine at any level. It’s terrific at washing your food down and if that’s all you ever did that would be enough. If you are more interested in learning about wine it is good to find a retailer or someone in the industry to help you choose wines that you might like. If you are looking to develop or enhance your palate then you need to find somebody that can help you. This could be a retailer that loves wine, a food & beverage director, a distributor friend or even a wine tasting group in your local area. You don’t have to take it to this level to enjoy wine though.

CATHY’S WINE MAKING STYLE

Her wine making style is very non intervention because she believes that great grapes make great wine so Cathy mostly stays out of the way she said. She has a technical foundation and a Masters Degree from UC Davis so she’s technically trained to avoid problems in the winery. Mostly in a good vintage, properly ripe, grapes come into the winery and mostly she stays out of the way. They do the same things everyone else does, they sort the grapes, crush the grapes and use gentle equipment because the whole idea of winemaking is to get the good stuff out and leave the bad stuff behind so they are as gentle as they can be. Her wine is aged in french oak barrels for 20-22 months. Corison Winery truly follows a traditional winemaking process. “It’s not about winemaking, it’s more about the grapes” Cathy said.

THE WINE

 
Corison

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The cornerstone of Corison Winery since our founding in 1987, it is sourced from three great benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena. It has long been prized for power, elegance and longevity.

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