Bibiana Gonzalez Rave

Bibiana Gonzalez Rave

Cattleya Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Shared Notes Wines (Winemaker & Owner)

Bibiana González Rave grew up in Colombia—which isn’t a grape-friendly country—having never seen a vineyard. Even at the age of 16, making wine had been her dream while growing up in Medellin, the second largest city in the country. She first completed a degree in chemical engineering in Medellín and then when it came time to pursue her dream, she knew the best place to begin was France, even though she had never spoken a word of French. Thus began a winemaking journey that has spanned four continents and many wine regions.

In France, she received a Technician of Viticulture and Oenology diploma in Lycée de L'Oisellerie in Angoulême, followed by a Diploma of Oenology, with honors, from the prestigious University of Bordeaux. Her thesis, entitled “The influence of the millerandage /on wines made with Merlot,” was a study of a phenomenon associated with berry fertilization and its influence on the quality of age-worthy wines

While in France, she worked in Côte-Rôtie (Domaine Michelle & Stéphane Ogier and Domaine Clusel-Roch), Alsace (Domaine du Scheidecker), Burgundy (Domaine Du Devevey), Cognac (Lycée Agricole de L’Oisellerie), and Bordeaux (Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission Haut-Brion and Château La Dominique).

Even after moving to Sonoma in 2004, she still was on the go, working harvests in South Africa (Saronsberg Cellars) as well as in California and France. At one point, she managed to work six harvests in a period of three years! After 14 harvests and a great experience working in California at wineries such as Peay Vineyards, Au Bon Climat, and Qupe, Bibiana moved to Lynmar Estate in March 2009 as assistant winemaker and was named winemaker there in October 2009. At Lynmar she oversaw every part of the winemaking process.

Bibiana joined Pahlmeyer as consultant winemaker in June 2012 and remained in that role until the end of 2017. In recognition of her winemaking talents, Bibiana was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s first “40 Under 40: America’s Tastemakers” in 2014 and Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2015. Antonio Galloni of Vinos Media identified her as “one of the most talented and promising winemakers of her generation.”

She established a consulting firm, RAVE Vines & Wines, in 2012 and that same year started two new labels, Cattalya—named after the national flower of Columbia —and Shared Notes, a project Bibiana established jointly with her husband, also a winemaker. Finally, in 2016 she began yet another label, Alma de Cattleya, for wine initially intended for distribution in her native Colombia.

Her globetrotting days —which she has described as ‘. . . exhausting and challenging. . .’—might be behind her, but she’s amassed enough global winery experience to last a lifetime. Bibiana is convinced that uniqueness in a wine starts with the vines. Every aspect of winemaking is taken with a passionate obsession for perfection.

As is the case for many winemakers, she enjoys cooking, particularly French, Italian and Mediterranean, and Latin American cuisines, and using their aroma profiles and flavors for picking the wines to accompany what she prepares. She, her husband, and two sons live in Santa Rosa.