Merry Edwards is known as the Queen of Pinot Noir and is no doubt one of the pioneering women of California wines. Merry(Meredith) Edwards is an iconic winemaker from Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, a region known for its Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Her wines are known to be intense yet graceful. Merry Edwards may be known for her Pinot Noirs, but according to many critics and wine lovers, her Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most highly regarded from California. Merry Edwards Winery is producing some of California’s best terroir-driven wines.
Merry Edwards, Founder
With her master’s degree in Food Science and Enology, Merry began her career as a winemaker at Mount Eden Winery in 1974. As one of California’s first female winemakers, she quickly became a star in the wine industry. Over the years Merry became captivated by Sonoma and went on to become the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek and later forged a career in consulting.
Merry’s love for viticulture drew the eyes of academicians. In 1975, Merry selected cuttings from Mount Eden’s Pinot Noir vineyard and sent them to UC Davis for research. Her field selection became UCD clone 37, also known as the “Merry Edwards selection”. Today this clonal selection is widely used in the Russian River Valley for its quality and specificity to the region.
Over the years, Merry became well acquainted with the slopes, soils and microclimates of the Russian River Valley. In 1996 she purchased land in the Sebastopol Hills region of Russian River Valley and in 1997 produce Merry Edwards wines from select Pinot Noir grapes in Russian River Valley. Over the years Merry and her husband Ken Coopersmith acquired new vineyards and built their own winery. Together they sought to plant vineyards where they could capture flavors through site-specific viticulture.
On her 40th anniversary(2013) as a winemaker, Merry was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame. In the same year, same also won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional. Her winemaking career is one of perseverance and conviction, all traits that have garnered admiration from her peers, wine critics, and wine lovers alike.
Merry has since sold the winery to Maison Louis Roederer and now spends her time gardening, cooking, doing yoga and spending quality time with her family. Merry Edwards Winery has transitioned into the very capable hands of this leading French brand.
Merry Edwards New Releases
Here are some of Merry Edwards’ newest releases that garner much acclaim and admiration.
Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley 2019
This wine has been a favorite of mine for the last 10 years. Hands down one of the best Sauvignon Blancs coming from California. Aged four months sur lie the wine opens up with notes of honeydew, apricot, kiwi and melons. Expressive on the palate, the wine has bright acidity, vibrant fruit and soft minerality. The wine is fresh and drinking beautifully but will develop even more sophistication with age.
Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2019
This Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is bright with a medium-bodied. Expressive on the nose and palate, it has a charming bouquet of berries, cola, violets and cardamon. On the palate, there are notes of berries, currants, tea, and rhubarb. Firm tannins give the wine a nice structure and finish.
Merry Edwards Olivet Lane Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2019
The Olivet Lane vineyards is one of the oldest existing Pinot vineyards in the appellation and have been widely recognized as a prime example of the classic style of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The 2019 Olivet Lane is rich in texture and full-bodied. Intense on the palate with rich fruity notes of strawberries and cherries. Nice supple tannins add to the texture. A fantastic Pinot Noir with wonderful focus and tension.
Merry Edwards Klopp Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2019
Klopp Ranch lies in an area of Russian River Valley Merry has named “The Golden Triangle.” This narrow expanse of land is blessed with a moderate climate and excellent drainage provided by sandy Goldridge soils. There is a wild bouquet of berries, floral and spice. The finish is vibrant and long with nice velvety tannins. An excellent Pinot Noir that stimulates the palate.
Merry Edwards Georganne Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2019
The wines of Georganne vineyards deliver deep color, generous dark fruit and rich, supple tannins. The 2019 aromatic palate expresses blackberries, cherries, and crushed herbs. The palate percolates with notes of red berries, anise, and exotic tea with silky tannins. This is a charming wine with nice acidity and balance.
Merry Edwards Coppersmith Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2019
Merry Edwards Coopersmith Pinot Noir characteristically presents aromas lush with cocoa and cherries, along with a rich mouthful of supple tannins. The wine has a medium ruby hue with a fresh nose that consists of black cherry, strawberry, lavender and vanilla. Wine is full of life on the palate with bright acidity and fruit. The long finish features bright fruit and smooth tannins.