WINEMAKER: MERRY EDWARDS
Hitting Her Stride
Merry Edwards Has A Golden Touch With Pinot
If there’s one person in the Russian River Valley who truly has a golden touch with Pinot Noir, it’s Merry Edwards. Even though she’s celebrating her thirtieth anniversary in winemaking, it’s apparent in every bottle of Merry Edwards Pinot Noir that she’s just hitting her stride.
Edwards’ Pinots are intense and deep with layers and layers of complex aromas and flavors. This profound character is coupled with beautiful structure and balance. “Fruit-forward and textural components are my fixations as a winemaker,” Edwards says.
Her current releases include seven bottlings of Pinot Noir: a Russian River bottling and vineyard-designated wines from Klopp Ranch, Windsor Gardens and Olivet Lane Vineyard in Russian River Valley; a Sonoma Coast bottling; and a vineyard-designated wine from her own Meredith Estate Vineyard. There’s also a special bottling — “30” which is made up of three 30-year-old vineyards: Windsor Gardens, Quail Hill Ranch and Olivet Lane. Edwards hasn’t always made Pinot Noir, but it didn’t take long in the formative years of her career for Pinot to become a big part of her life.
To that end, in 1996, she purchased a 24-acre former fruit orchard that would become her first vineyard: Meredith Estate. The Meredith Estate and the Coopersmith vineyards are the canvas for Edwards and husband Ken Coopersmith’s viticultural pursuits. Both are firm believers in sustainable farming and are committed to sparing no expense to not only produce the best Pinot Noir grapes, but to also be responsible stewards of the land.
“I have always wanted my own vineyard, and now my husband Ken and I are growing more than 33 acres of Pinot Noir,” Edwards said. “These are breakthrough years for this variety, with a host of new viticultural techniques, available clones and ever-improving winemaking methodology.”
But despite all of the sophisticated new tools in her winemaker’s toolkit, Merry Edwards’ golden touch with this ruby ambrosia still comes down to two things: finding the best vineyard sites and her unending passion for urging the most elegant character from this most temperamental of grapes.