Legendary winemaker Merry Edwards began her career at Mount Eden Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1974 after earning a master’s degree in Food Science with an emphasis in Enology from UC Davis (UCD). She was one of three women in the master’s program, and the only one who became a winemaker. In 1975, Merry selected cuttings from Mount Eden’s Pinot Noir vineyard and sent them to UCD for heat treatment to remove viruses and for propagation. This field selection became “UCD Clone 37”, also known as the “Merry Edwards Selection” and a star performer in the Russian River Valley today. Merry became the founding winemaker at Matanzas Creek in 1977, and later became a consultant for numerous wineries, large and small. By 1997, her family and friends joined Merry to found her eponymous label. In 2008, they completed a state-of-the-art winery in Sebastopol that has thrived by producing critically acclaimed Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. In 2019, Merry Edwards Winery was acquired by Louis Roederer, and Merry remains on the team to aid with the transition. As part of this grand year for Merry, we welcome her as this year’s Vintner Honoree.
- Inductee, Vintners Hall of Fame by the Culinary Institute of America
- “Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional” by the James Beard Foundation
- One of the “50 Most Influential Winemakers in the World,” Wine & Spirits magazine
- “Winemaker of the Year,” San Francisco Chronicle