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July 15, 2010
Merryvale . . . A Magical Place

There are probably half a dozen wineries that truly influenced my decision to start Brixage and to help consumers find wines they like, probably none more than Merryvale in beautiful St. Helena.

Merryvale was the first winery building to be built following the repeal of prohibition. With the fantastic Tra Vigne Restaurant right next door, it makes this winery a perfect last stop, as their tasting room is open later than most. If you come here during Spring, you are likely to catch the beautiful blooms of their wisteria at the entrance of the Tasting Room. As an interesting factoid, the world's largest known Wisteria vine is located in Sierra Madre, California, measuring more than 1 acre in size and weighing 250 tons. They are quite beautiful to look at, but beware of the pods as they are poisonous!

Once in their tasting room, you immediately notice the historic cask room with century-old 2,000 gallon casks adorning both sides. It is a room that leaves an impression. The beautiful subdued lighting gives the cask room a truly enchanting glow. The cask room can also be rented out, which is great for receptions, weddings, you name it!
Speaking of weddings, my history there is brief, but important. There was this young lady who one day would marry me, and this bottle of 1994 Merryvale Profile, their premium Bordeaux-style blend, facilitated the wooing process and for that I am thankful! I still hold a few bottles of the ‘94 so we can reminisce.

Merryvale is owned by the Schlatter family, Jack and his son René, and they have done a great job raising Merryvale to the next level. In this business, you must rise to the challenges of tomorrow.
In my continued appreciation of wine and family, Merryvale continues to play a part. A few years back, I brought my daughters to Napa to lay hands upon the vitis vinifera. As we returned to Merryvale, aka, the scene of the crime where I stole my wife-to-be’s heart, our oldest daughter could not resist but to bask in the
sun on the old stone grape crush wheels in the front of the Merryvale tasting room.

Ain’t life grand?



Brixage, 26238 Enterprise Court, Lake Forest, CA 92630

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