In the far northeastern corner of Russian River Valley, just south of Healdsburg along Highway 101, lies Merriam Vineyards. This is the warmest section of the Russian River Valley where the Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and the Russian River Valley come together. Starting as a wine merchant in New England, Peter and Diana Merriam had their dream of a French-style vineyard in Russian River Valley. They acquired this love for French vineyards and French wine during their honeymoon in France’s Loire Valley and Bordeaux. They acquired the Windacre Vineyard in this corner of Russian River Valley in 2000. This was a Merlot vineyard at that time and the Merriam’s have since added in plantings of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon to enable them to produce the Bordeaux blend wines they adore. They have also recently planted the estate Los Amigos Vineyard north of the winery.
In 2009 the opened their new magnificent winery and tasting room. Be sure to check out the attached slide show to view these beautiful structures. You will enjoy visiting Merriam. It is easily accessible off of Highway 101 between the Arata Lane and Limerick Lane exits.
As you pull into their driveway you are immediate struck by the French style winery building in front of you. Off to your right is the equally beautiful Tasting Room. Come on in and you are will stop to look around this huge open room with high ceilings, an inviting bar and places to sit down and relax.
For the recent Passport Day they offered a nice selection of their wines.
The 2013 Danielle’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc sources their grapes from Danielle’s Block in the Los Amigos Vineyard. It consists of 94% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Semillon, much like the French style Sauvignon Blanc. It is very aromatic with aromas of orange blossom, tangerine and on the palate you will detect a touch of tropical notes. It has a nice clean crisp acidity and long finish. The price is $20.
The 2013 Pinot Noir Cuvee uses four different Pinot Noir clones to give it a balanced, yet complex, aromas and flavors of raspberry, cherry, and both red and black berries. This is a nice, complex Pinot with a decent earthiness and body to make it easy to pair with foods. The price is $28.
The 2011 Windacre Vineyard Merlot won a Gold Medal at the 2015 North Coast Wine Competition. This is the 11th vintage of this wine coming from the established Windacre Vineyard property. You will love the complex flavors and aromas of dark berry fruit including raspberry, cherry and cassis, that leads to a balanced long lasting finish. The price is $30.
The 2009 Estate Cabernet Franc comes from the Windacre Vineyard producing aromas and flavors of cranberry, spice, raspberry, strawberry and a hint of chocolate. It has lovely rich tannins and nice acidity. The price is $40.
For more information: Merriam Vineyards