Wall Street Journal
March 19, 2004
By Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher
The strangest things happen on Open That Bottle Night.
In our column announcing the date of OTBN this year, we wrote: "In Niskayuna, N.Y., retired physicist Dr. James B. Comly and his wife plan to open a 1983 Chateau Puy-Blanquet given to him in 1988 by Lise Pfau, an intern who worked with him in a software-technology program at General Electric. Her father had brought it back from one of his annual wine trips to France. 'I have been looking up old friends for the last two or three years in general and was reminded about Lise Pfau when I reviewed my OTBN candidate bottles,' Dr. Comly told us. 'I'm going to try to find her. I'd like to tell her about this.' "
After reading this, a former colleague told Dr. Comly how to contact Ms. Pfau. Now married, Lise Pfau Ciolino left her career in the computer industry three years ago—to start a winery in Sonoma with her husband, who also worked in the computer industry. Her father instilled a love of wine and winemaking in her, she told us. "You're living from the earth and you get to share something that you produce. I always loved the lifestyle, the vineyards, the travel. People were always really nice."
Now her husband, Vincent, is in charge of the vineyard and Mrs. Ciolino is the winemaker of Montemaggiore (and they live right down the street from an old friend of ours from the Journal). They have five acres of Syrah and five of Cabernet Sauvignon. They are bottling their first wines this year—a Syrah and a Cabernet/ Syrah blend—and expect to ultimately produce about 2,000 cases a year. Said Dr. Comly: "I have asked to be put on their order list to buy a case of each."