R. Merlo Estate Vineyards

Owner(s) Ray Merlo, Robin Merlo
Web site www.rmerlo.com
 
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This winery is located in one of the most remote winemaking regions in California. Tucked away in Hyampom Valley which is located among the inter-coastal mountains of Southern Trinity County (100 miles north of Sonoma and Napa counties). Proprietors Ray and Robin Merlo come from the medical field, he as a medical doctor and she as a physician assistant.

The Merlos assisted with the planting of the first vineyard in Hyampom in the mid 1980s but did not get seriously involved in the wine business until the late 1990s, when they formed a formal partnership with Merredith Vineyards, an established, bonded winery. They subsequently bought Hyampom Valley Ranch and planted a second vineyard in 2000 and built the first winery in 2002. In 2004, a second winery was built with modern winemaking equipment. The estate vineyard is over 45 acres planted to blocks of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The first wines under the Merlo label were released in 2004. The winery and family name, Merlo, comes from the Italian word for blackbird.

Several varietals are produced under the direction of head winemaker and viticulturist Bix Lane and consulting winemaker David Georges. The wines can be tasted at A Dozen Vintners collective tasting room in St. Helena. Visits to the winery and vineyard are available by appointment (530-224-1537)

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