weese merriam

William Weese, Merriam Vineyards winemaker

weese merriamWilliam Weese, Merriam Vineyards winemaker, is our guest with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger on California Wine Country. Melissa Galliani, GM of Wine Country Radio is also in the studio. The last time William Weese was on CWC was this episode on March 15, 2023. Today he has brought a Cabernet Franc, a Merlot and a Chardonnay.

The Merriam family started with one vineyard called Windacre in 1998 that produced Merlot. They built a winery and planted more vineyards in 2008 with Cabernet Franc and Malbec and Merlot, in their present location off East Side Road, directly below Shone Farm.

Dan says the Merriam project has been under the radar but it has become one of the most beautiful wineries in Sonoma County. They have been certified organic in the vineyard for many years and and now also the winery, recently.

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The Cabernet Franc is “spectacular” says Dan. In the Russian River AVA Pinot Noir is dominant but Cabernet Franc and Merlot deserve more attention. They are open daily from 10 to 5. Reservations are encouraged but not required. They have all kinds of tastings and tours.

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William Weese, Merriam Vineyards winemaker learned winemaking by working in New Zealand, France, Chile and Napa Valley, after some study at Cal State at Chico and at UC Davis.

The Sonoma County Barrel Auction

Dan Berger and William were at the Sonoma County Barrel Auction today where the variety of production in Sonoma County was on display. Dan notices that a lot of the buyers here are people who want a personal affiliation with the winery. It is also a great place to get to know other wineries and winemakers. There are people who know wine who appreciate special products.

They pour the 2021 Cabernet Franc, one of their favorites that comes from a small block in the vineyard. It is a slow-ripening grape so they let it hang for a long time. It is smooth and silky. It has some of the personality of Cabernet Sauvignon, but more floral and less astringent.

The winery and tasting room are located a few minutes outside of Healdsburg.

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