When I decided to purchase land, of course it had to be in Russian River Valley! ― Merry Edwards, founder
Merry Edwards was among the first California winemakers to embrace the importance of clonal selection and firmly believed that site-specific, terroir-driven viticulture was the only way to achieve broad success. Merry had begun her quest to acquire complete control over the winemaking process in 1996, when she purchased land in the Sebastopol Hills of Russian River Valley that would become the winery’s premier single-vineyard Pinot Noir bottling, Meredith Estate.
Over two decades, as Merry assembled this stellar collection of vineyards, she employed meticulous attention to detail to become known for crafting Pinot Noirs of immense depth, elegant structure and exceptional longevity. Now, with 80 acres of estate vineyards in Russian River Valley, Merry Edwards Winery’s single-vineyard Pinot Noirs are still produced with the same respect for the land and using the site-specific viticulture adhered to by Merry herself.
One of the hallmarks of the Russian River Valley appellation is that the diurnal variation is so dramatic. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean and lingering morning fog contribute to large temperature swings of 40-50°F day to night that trigger the generation of more phenolic material, both anthocyanins and tannins, in the maturing red grapes. Generous tannin helps to stabilize color and creates the rich mouthfeel so evident in the wines grown here.
Excellent drainage created by the sandy soils found in Russian River Valley allows optimization of the water-deficit method of irrigation. Holding back water slows the vines' growth and focuses their attention on fruit production. This metabolic shift also causes an increase in the building blocks that make up the phenolic compounds so key to creating a rich style of wine.
It is because we are firmly rooted in the Russian River Valley that we are able to produce these rich, ageable wines year after year.