the pinnacle of her career, Merry Edwards has launched Meredith Vineyard Estate,
Inc., a business venture allowing her to develop a Pinot Noir vineyard in the
Russian River Valley, focusing her winemaking on this seductive varietal. Merry
makes elegant wines from the ground up - and the ground in the Russian River Valley
produces the finest Pinot Noir in America.
Located on the southern border of the Russian River Valley appellation, the vineyard
is a southeast-facing 8-12 percent slope, previously the site of an old, overgrown
fruit orchard. Under Merry Edwards' direction, workers cleared the land in the
summer of 1997 and arborists removed and transplanted 38 mature, native oak trees.
Preparation included tilling, soil amendment and the sowing of a nitrogen-rich
cover crop prior to planting Pinot Noir green grafts in June, 1998. "Today we
are benefitting from 20 years of clonal research. As a result, an exciting new
array of Burgundian materials is now obtainable in the USA," says Merry.
"Looking back at my winemaking career, I see many cyclical trends," notes Merry.
"Today the very clones I saw in Burgundy over 20 years ago are available in California
nurseries. We now have a host of incredible plant material to work with, and we
have the opportunity to raise Pinot Noir to a new level. These are exciting years
for Pinot Noir, particularly in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County."