For decades the Meyer family has created red wines that express a sense of where they have been grown. With each subsequent vintage you learn something new about the character of a vineyard. Will the fruit express green notes or spice in a cold year, will it become luscious or fall apart with extended hang time, or can a drought create great fruit intensity or cause the vineyard to shut down prematurely? The wines produced at Meyer Family Cellars are as diverse as the vineyards in which they are grown.
The Meyer Family Syrah is sourced from six vineyards in the Yorkville Highlands Appellation. These vineyards range from 800 to 2100 feet in elevation with South, East, and West aspects, and unique soil profiles at each site. We have found that it gets warm up until midday at which point a cooling breeze comes from the coast moderating the temperature. Furthermore the nights are much cooler in the Highlands than anywhere we have seen in the North coast. These nighttime temperatures preserve acidity, color, and tannin in the grapes. Additionally, whether it comes from the old soils or the cooler temperatures most of the wines from the region exhibit a certain minerality.
The Meyer Family Port was originally sourced from Zinfandel vineyards in Lodi and more recently from different parts of Mendocino. The fruit from Lodi was able to get extremely ripe, and the pronounced fruit helped balance out the intensity of the brandy.
After we bought the winery in Mendocino we started working with two distinct areas, both exciting for their unique aspects. Zinfandel from the hot Ukiah Valley provides similar grapes to the Lodi region with great fruit intensity, again a complement to the alcohol. Zinfandel from the much cooler Yorkville Highlands provides acidity and intense color to balance the sugar level of the Port. The result is the smooth carefully aged Meyer Family Port we have come to know and love.
The Bonny’s Vineyard Cabernet was one of the country's first and deservedly best examples of a single vineyard designate wine. Over thirty years ago these precious four acres stood out among thousands that Justin Meyer cultivated in the heart of the Napa Valley's Oakville Appellation. The old creek which runs nearby deposited gravely soils which cause the vines to struggle and produce the most beautifully intense fruit imaginable. This is not a wine we make, but rather one we watch develop itself during its five year ageing process. Whereas we are actively developing the style of the Syrah, when it comes to the Bonny’s we stay true to the techniques Justin Meyer used many years ago. Rather, when each vintage is tasted it is a way of looking back to the year in which it was grown.