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Colombian-Born Sonoma Winemaker Launches Coffee Label

Bibiana González Rave also plans to open a cafe at her combination winery and coffee roastery.

Bibiana González Rave is naturally high energy, nearly shimmering with joy at her many passions: family, Sonoma wines, and her new Shared Notes coffee, imported from her native Colombia. It helps, she says with a laugh, that she adores the coffee of her home country, sipping up to 10 cups a day.

“Colombia is one of the most predominant producers of really high-quality coffee in the world, and that’s what we drink all the time,” Rave says. “When I grew up there, it was really common that you would just show up at your friend’s house, knock on the door, and there was always a pot of coffee brewing.”

At Rave’s combination winery and coffee roastery in Rohnert Park, she points out a giant slab of redwood, destined to be made into a communal table for an eventual café, where she will serve a full slate of French press coffee made from the single-farm-sourced beans. For now, customers can purchase Shared Notes coffee at the winery and online.

Rave recommends guests enjoy the coffee “soft.” That means made with a filter and poured over or dripped, rather than pressurized espresso-style. Soft brews, she explains, allow you to appreciate the nuances of the fine, medium-roast beans—“cherry, cocoa, caramel, citrus, mild acidity… not burned, bitter beans like so many dark-roast American coffees.”

Winemaker Bibiana Gonzales Rave in the barrel room at the Pisoni wine production facility in Rohnert Park. (Chad Surmick / The Press Democrat)
Shared Notes coffee is available at the winery and online. (Chad Surmick / The Press Democrat)

Rave, who oversees three different labels, including Cattleya, Alma de Cattleya, and Shared Notes wines, says adding coffee to the mix was a natural evolution. “Coffee actually is very similar to wine in many ways,” she explains. “It really is an expression of terroir, so all coffees from all different countries are really different, and like wine, quality is measured by acidity.” The name Shared Notes salutes the collaboration between Rave and her husband, Jeff Pisoni of Pisoni Vineyards.

How does the winemaker enjoy her holiday? Rave and Pisoni, who have two young sons, celebrate by opening their home for a traditional Colombian celebration, the Day of the Little Candles, on December 7. “I started this tradition here in Sonoma, where we light thousands of candles in our backyard,” she says. “It’s how we start Christmas in Colombia, and it’s so beautiful. Everyone lighting candles together brings this amazing love and energy.”

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