The first formally educated female oenologist, Merry Edwards earned her master's degree from UC Davis in 1973. She worked as a vineyard manager until 1997 when she established her own winery, Merry Edwards, in the Russian River AVA of Sonoma. In 2008 Edwards opened a beautiful new facility at their Coopersmith vineyards where visitors are welcomed for tastings. Keeping with the sustainability practices of the winery, in 2010 a solar energy system was installed; the vineyards are fertilized with organic mushroom compost, and the winery is dedicated to using natural cork closures rather than screw caps for three reasons; cork is a renewable resource; supporting cork oak forests sustains natural habitats, and the cork imparts important phenols into the wine.
Merry Edwards Winery is known for their beautiful Pinot Noir wines. The Russian River blend is lush, bright cherry with a chocolate finish. The Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir has blueberry and blackberry aromas, but still with a crisp structure. The Meredith Pinot Noir is earthy with aromas of dark fruit and spice, the most tannic of the three. All her Pinot Noirs are beautifully crafted and express the crispness one would expect from this cooler region of Sonoma.
The Russian River AVA, while it grows many grapes, is known in particular for two, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They are two grapes that do very well in this cooler climate. Though firmly established in the Russian River AVA, Merry Edwards does not offer a Chardonnay as her white wine. Instead, she makes a Sauvignon Blanc, a grape more often found in warmer climates such as Bordeaux. Her Sauvignon Blanc is aged in 3 to 5-year-old oak barrels. The lees are stirred twice a week. The wine is aged for 6 months. And what she has crafted from this slightly out-of-place grape is a guava/pineapple flavored white wine with an absolutely sparkling acidity. It is lush and crisp and a little unexpected. Merry Edwards is able to take the Bordeaux grape, Sauvignon Blanc and play it off the Burgundian climate of Russian River in a very clever and delightful way.
Merry Edwards Winery is open to visitors everyday from 9:30 to 4:30.