Daughter of Jayson Pahlmeyer, Cleo grew up with the family business but never visualized herself actually joining the winery. Her education took her to the East Coast where she received her 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. After landing a job at Bonhams auction house in London, she discovered that it was not only the art auctions that interested her, but the wine auctions as well. “Seeing our wine in London auctions, I realized for the first time what a respected name Pahlmeyer is in the wine world,” she admits. “It was an awakening for me and I began to consider how I could help propel the company my father had built.”
With Napa’s exceptional cuisine and world-class wines in her DNA, Cleo comes by her love of wine and the wine industry naturally. In 2008 Cleo joined the family business in sales and customer service, and with characteristic Pahlmeyer exuberance infused the winery with new energy. She moved on to manage direct to consumer sales and marketing, and later directed the company’s communications and public relations. Cleo was instrumental in the development and launch in 2014 of the Wayfarer Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay from their estate vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, planted in 2000. In 2017, Cleo was appointed President.
“My father’s vision and passion have driven our success for more than thirty years,” said Cleo Pahlmeyer. “With the support of an incredibly talented and dedicated team, I am honored to continue Pahlmeyer’s legacy of iconic wines and be a steward to our exceptional estate vineyards.”
A mother of two, Cleo is devoted to her family. And when she has time, she is also an avid cook. Cleo and her husband Jamie Watson love to entertain friends and family and spread the Pahlmeyer story all over the world. “I meet people everywhere who share wonderful experiences they have had with our wines, and often hilarious stories about my dad,” she says. “It has been an incredible journey so far but what really excites me is the future of Pahlmeyer."