Cathy Corison has been making wine for over 40 years. She graduated from UC Davis (California’s Enology School) and worked at Chappellet Winery until 1987. She then left to start Corison Winery with her husband William.
Corison believes in the power of Cabernet Sauvignon to express terroir and dynamic, full-bodied flavours. Her winery operates sustainably and uses biodynamic principles to encourage rich biodiversity: i.e. they have built nesting boxes around the property to encourage birds to reside among the vines. The birds, in turn, eat insects and grasshoppers and also prey on pests, protecting the vines.
California faces drought every year, so Corison has switched to dry-farming. This stimulates the root systems in the vineyards to reach deeper into the soil. A drip irrigation system and water stress tests assess the exact time when the vines need water.
A complex vineyard management system has one goal in mind – the production of fully matured grapes, with balanced acidity and sugar balance. The wines are aged for 20 months in small oak barrels.
The grapes at Corison Winery come from 3 different vineyards that together form an alluvial fan (a triangular deposit of sediment, gravel and silt). These “benches” naturally hold water allowing the vines to grow during the warmer spring and summer months.
In 1995, Cathy and William purchased the Kronos Vineyard, the last “old vineyard” remaining in Napa Valley. The vines are 45 years old and produce a very low yield, but therefore an intensely concentrated juice.