Williams Selyem


  • “This winery receives considerable praise (justifiably so) for their stylish, immensely flavorful and complex Cotes de Beaune-styled Pinot Noirs. They are obviously aware of how fragile Pinot Noir is because Williams-Selyem is one of only a handful of American wineries to capture the elusive Pinot Noir perfume without stripping the wine with multiple manipulations and clarifications… This small winery sells its entire production via a mailing list… The Williams-Selyem winery has long been a reference point for complex, sumptuous Pinot Noir… As I have said before, there is a clear “house” style, with wines tending to have a slightly higher acid profile, lower pHs. But there is no doubting that these are well-made wines...” (Robert Parker)
  • "Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers. With over 25 vintages in Sonoma, Cabral, winemaker at Williams Selyem, has crafted wines from world-class vineyards. His extensive charity work for under-privileged children is matched only by his association with other charity work including with Emeril Lagasse's Carnivale du Vin, Chef Charlie Palmer's Pigs & Pinot, and recently crafting a wine with close friends Jonathan Cain (of Journey) and Michael Browne (of Kosta Brown) to produce the charity auction-only Revelation Pinot Noir. He was named Winemaker of the Year for 2011 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine." (Into Wine)

Basic Info

More than two decades after Williams Selyem Winery produced its first vintage of Pinot Noir in 1981, everyone at the winery, from the owners and winemaking team to the temporary crush help, is still as passionate about making the most luscious, flavorful wines as the crew who made that first vintage. Every person, no matter what his or her job, is truly proud to be a part of the creation of the most highly prized Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Executive Winemaker Bob Cabral has been involved in growing and making wine professionally since 1980 and has had an interest in wine and farming since his childhood helping his grandfather make wine in his barn. Growing up pruning grapes, irrigating vineyards and harvest became routine on his family’s 70 acre ranch near Escalon, CA. A fourth generation farmer and grape grower from the great San Joaquin Valley, he took all he learned at the family farm and applied it to his degrees at Fresno State University. Heading into his 13th vintage at Williams Selyem and 31st at a commercial winery, his winemaking philosophy has not changed: “The key is to respect the vineyard and value the fruit. Working with some of the best growers and vineyards in the world allows us to farm to the highest possible standards and provides us with the finest fruit available. That’s more than half the battle in working with Pinot Noir. Once the fruit is taken care of, then we try to intervene as little as possible. While there is no shortage of hard work in the cellar and you must still pay careful attention to detail as great wines are really made in the vineyard. My job is to just guide it along and allow the individual vineyard to be expressed in every bottle.” Bob is an experienced winemaker whose meticulousness and patience yield wines that are authentic expressions of each vineyard site.

Year founded:
John & Kathe Dyson
Bob Cabral, Jeff Mangahas