After a fieldtrip to a professor’s house, he was introduced to home winemaking and grape growing that sparked his interest in learning more. Working a few harvest at Owen Roe Winery in the Willamette Valley opened an opportunity to purchase a vineyard on a premier hillside in Yamhill-Carlton AVA. Merriman Vineyard sits at just under 500 feet elevation in the foothills just west of the Carlton Winemakers Studio.
Merriman Wines produces a spectacular Estate Pinot noir from the oldest vines on his site. A combination of Oregon’s old-school clones—Pommard and Wadenswil—it is quintessentially Oregon with a beautiful mix of dark and red fruit along with spice and earth reflective of its Yamhill-Carlton roots. Merriman has also become known for his elegant old vine Chenin Blanc from Washington State. Made from 40-year-old vines, the Chenin shows characteristics consistent with the varietal of honey and beeswax while seeming to show the wisdom of the vines. His second label, Cummins Road, also estate grown, yields one of the best wine value Pinot Noirs from the region. Regardless of the year or wine, Merriman wines are distinct expressions that consistently appeal to a wide variety of palates as well as earning high scores from critics.