Location: Russian River Valley, California

Merino Vineyard

Named for the French word “Mer” (or sea), Merino Vineyard is located in the southwestern corner of Russian River Valley—only 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the area known as the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed.

Here, the marine layer has a profound effect on grape phenolics. The 19 acres of clay-based soils produce beautiful Sauvignon Blanc grapes with bright acidity and complex flavors, including intriguing notes of ginger and wet stone. Colder nighttime temperatures followed by early morning fog allows the grapes to also mature at a slow and steady pace. In fact, Merino is always our last of the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards to be harvested.

Russian River Valley AVA

The Russian River Valley AVA is characterized by the cooling fog which ebbs and flows daily during the growing season, dropping temperatures as low as 40°F from daytime highs.

This flow of cool air—a natural air conditioning—allows grapes to develop deep, richly fruited flavors while maintaining crops acidity over an extended growing season. The regions sandy alluvial soils also force vines to lay down deep roots.

Site and Farming


Average 86 feet

Total Acreage

19 acres

Slope and Soil

Deep alluvial, wet, sandy clay loam with slopes under two percent


Fog: Early morning fog

Temperature: Cool overnight temperatures

Wind: Breezy afternoon winds that moderate temperatures

Fast Fact

Our 2013 vintage marked the debut of Merino Vineyard in our estate Sauvignon Blanc. Impressed by the quality of the fruit, the Duncan family acquired the vineyard in 2014.


“Merino represents the best of Sonoma County. Clay soils lend a note of ginger and dusty granite to the mid-palate, balanced with a lemon-lime citric acidity.”—Nate Weis, VP of Winegrowing

Other Vineyards

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