A Sense of Place
In 1997, family and friends joined Merry to found Merry Edwards Winery, with a focus on producing Pinot Noirs with a sense of place from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. In 2008, she and her husband, Ken Coopersmith, completed their winery, where tastings are hosted to educate visitors about Merry’s handcrafted wines and site-specific viticulture.
One of California’s first woman winemakers, Merry Edwards began her career at Mount Eden Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974. She went on to become the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek in 1977 and remained there until 1984. For the next decade, Merry consulted for numerous wineries, large and small, in Oregon and many diverse appellations of California.
Ken was her helpmate in the installation of her first vineyard, Meredith Estate, in 1998. This was followed by Coopersmith in 2001. Long-term leases were then negotiated for Warren’s Hill, Flax Vineyard and Georganne. Although most of those earlier plantings were Pinot Noir, in 2014 new Sauvignon Blanc developments got under way at a new property in Forestville and on the lower slope of Meredith. At Merry and Ken’s new home property in Sebastopol, a Pinot Noir vineyard has been planted to Merry’s Clone – UCD 37.
Along with two regional blends, six vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs are bottled. In 2001, a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc was added to the portfolio. Merry is also now making a single-vineyard designate Chardonnay from the venerable Olivet Lane, as well as an occasional late harvest Sauvignon Blanc and late-disgorged-style of sparkling wine.
In 2013, Merry's 40th year as a winemaker, she was not only inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Vintners Hall of Fame, she also won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional in the United States, making her one of just three women to win both honors, along with Zelma Long and Jamie Davies.
Merry’s wines are available direct from the winery and in fine restaurants throughout the United States.