Of all the Californian appellations, one which comes up time and time again when we’re talking about quality and finesse is Russian River Valley AVA. This beautiful part of the state has a set of terroirs which is ideal for the production of fine, complex and deeply fascinating wines, thanks to the alluvium rich soils and cool climatic conditions it enjoys. The appellation also attracts some interesting vintners, keen to see just what the land can do with the right grape varietals and techniques. One such winery, quickly gaining recognition for the supreme quality of its red wines, is Merry Edwards.
Merry Edwards winery was launched in 1997, when there was real interest in the potential that Russian River Valley AVA was showing. The winery is named after its pioneering owner - Merry Edwards herself - who was one of the first solo female vintners in the United States. Her viticultural career started in the nineteen seventies, when she worked for several leading wineries in Santa Cruz, and her path took her all over the states of California, Oregon and Washington, where she developed her ideas about exactly what sort of wines she wanted to make. She settled on Pinot Noir, taking her inspiration from the world-beating wines of France’s Burgundy region, which shares many characteristics with Russian River Valley. Merry Edwards Pinot Noirs are the zenith of sophistication in the varietal, all roundness and deep, juicy flavors that tempt the palate and bring much expression of the land into the bottle.
In more recent years, Merry Edwards has expanded her repertoire to include single estate Sauvignon Blanc, produced at her newly bought land in Forestville and barrel fermented to produce stunning flavor and character, and Chardonnay wines from vineyards at Olivet Lane, which have garnered much praise. She is also beginning to produce traditionally made sparkling wines, and in 2013 was inducted into the American Vintners’ Hall of Fame.