One of the early vineyard sources for Merryvale wines was a rocky site perched in the steep hillsides east of St. Helena, high above the fog line, with a mosaic of different soil types and exposures. When the Schlatter family became sole proprietors of Merryvale in 1996, Jack Schlatter and his son René acquired this historic hillside site and worked closely with viticulturist David Abreu and then winemaker Bob Levy and consultant Michel Rolland to replant and redesign the vineyard to what it is today.

A FAMILY ESTATE IN ITS PRIME

  • 25 acres planted in 1997 on the steep slopes at the eastern edge of the St. Helena AVA
  • Situated above the fog line at 600–800 feet, with ample light and warmer nights that promote greater concentration in the wines
  • Vineyard composition: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot
  • A mosaic diversity of aspects, exposures and soil types, including the coveted Forward Kidd, Henneke, gravelly and clay loam

SUSTAINABLE, HIGH-PRECISION VITICULTURE

  • Plant-by-plant farming decisions ensure each vine has optimal growth, development, and capacity
  • Organic techniques promote natural health of the soils and surrounding ecosystem
  • Precisely timed and targeted irrigation according to levels of vine stress supports healthy development throughout the growing season
  • Spore traps monitor levels of vineyard mildew activity, allowing us to limit spraying to the minimum necessary
  • Restorative compost tea supports soil vitality, vine health, and superior clusters
  • We harvest ton-by-ton as the fruit achieves perfect ripeness, and vinify each lot separately to preserve its unique characteristics

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE BOTTLE

  • Diversity of soils, aspects and exposures yields tremendous variety of fruit flavor, intensity and structure, which imparts complexity, personality and character to the final blend
  • Even ripening achieves phenolic ripeness without excessive sugar levels, allowing for rich aromatics in perfect balance
  • Hillside fruit offers excellent color, structure and tannin to support extended cellaring and continued evolution over time