At a young age, Jack Schlatter travelled from Switzerland to Dallas in the 1950s to work in the cotton trade. He later moved to Mexico and São Paulo (as a coffee tester) and back to Zurich to develop the cotton business in the Eastern bloc. But he always had one foot in Dallas and entered the real estate business there. The wine business also appealed to him early on. But it was a while before he met Bill Harlan, the owner of Merryvale.
The winery was founded in 1933 by a group of partners shortly after the Prohibition era ended, and it attracted over the decades several famous personalities as partners, consultants or owners: Peter and Robert Mondavi from the beginning and then Bill Harlan in the 1980s. Jack Schlatter became a fifty-fifty partner in 1991 and brought the winery into the European and Asian markets. He purchased the winery outright in 1994. Today, his son René stands firmly at the helm.
The historic building is located in the south of the small town of St. Helena at the heart of Napa Valley. The winery-owned Estate Vineyards lie to the east of St. Helena at about 280 metres above sea level. Around 10 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot were planted here in 1997. At that time, Michel Rolland was the expert consultant for Merryvale.
White wines from Merryvale Vineyards
Red wines from Merryvale Vineyards
from Merryvale Vineyards
The soils offer a great variety, some with clay and sandstone deposits, others of volcanic origin. Their orientation and slope inclinations of 20 to 50% also vary greatly, resulting in very distinct micro-climates. To reap the greatest benefit from this diversity, the vineyards are divided into individual smaller blocks or plots and their grapes are vinified separately.
Another 20 hectares are located on Stanley Ranch in the east of the Carneros appellation. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive in the cooler climate, which is characterised by the nearby San Francisco Bay and the constant breeze from the southwest. A few Syrah and Viognier vines have also found their way here. Starmont Winery, which is also owned by the Schlatter family, is very close by.
Viticulturalist Michael Costley from Missouri with experience working in Sonoma, Oregon, Australia and New Zealand tends to the vines here. The sustainable cultivation of the vineyards in harmony with nature has been certified by Napa Green Land since 2007/2008. The winemaker, Simon Faury from France, also exerts a major influence on the work in the vineyard. His career path brought him to Merryvale via Bordeaux (Domaine de Chevalier, Château Pichon-Longueville), Piedmont, Mondavi, Harlan Estate and Michel Rolland in Mendoza. Costley and Faury also maintain a close working relationship with grape growers who own excellent vineyards and with whom they maintain long-standing partnerships.
The Merryvale wines are among the top wines of Napa Valley. They are unique in their European touch, their complexity, their depth and the intensity of their aromas. Merryvale is happy to welcome visitors. The unique and magnificent Cask Room is one of the most spectacular locations in Napa and is well worth a visit in itself.
De Toren is one of the first wineries in South Africa to producing classic Bordeaux-style wines. Since its foundation, the De Toren vision has been and remains the reinterpretation of the Bordeaux concept and to create unique South African wines from the five grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. De Toren is one of the first wineries in South Africa to producing classic Bordeaux-style wines. Since its foundation, the De Toren vision has been and remains the reinterpretation of the Bordeaux concept and to create unique South African wines from the five grape varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
Domaine de la Commaraine
The beauty behind the walls of Château Commaraine
The Burgundian municipality of Pommard has a classic, historic ambience with most of the buildings and walled vineyards (clos) intact, exuding a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. The small, romantic village square conveys a slightly exotic feeling to its visitors – an unusual sensation in rural Burgundy indeed!