AUCTION HONOREES

 

VINTNER HONOREE

MERRY EDWARDS
Merry Edwards Winery

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.

ACCOLADES:
• 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

 

 

 

CHEF HONOREE

JOHN ASH
Two-Time James Beard Award-Winning Chef & Restaurateur

Many refer to Chef John Ash as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine.” In 1980, he opened John Ash & Company in Santa Rosa, which gained international acclaim and continues to be critically applauded. In addition to being a restaurateur, he hosted two shows on the Food Network, co-hosted a radio show for 32 years and served as an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone. He has also consulted with a broad range of clients including Sonoma-Cutrer Winery, Del Monte Foods, Viking River Cruises and others. He writes occasionally for culinary magazines such as Fine Cooking and Eating Well and contributes regularly to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

ACCOLADES:
• 2014 “Sustainable Seafood Educator of the Year” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium
• Inductee, the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers
• 2008 “Cooking School Teacher of the Year” by the International Association of Culinary Professionals

AWARD-WINNING BOOKS:
• Culinary Birds
• John Ash Cooking One-on-One
• From the Earth to the Table
• American Game Cooking
• Cooking Wild