Merlot: Articles on the Merlot Red Wine Grape Varietal

Le Marche's Le Terrazze: Bob Dylan, Chaos & Some Great Italian Wines

Le Marche (pronounced lay Mar-kay) is a region in central Italy that borders the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Apennines to the west.  Le Marche borders Emilia-Romagna to the north, Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio to the west, and Abruzzi to the south.  The terrain is mostly hills and mountains once you get away from the coast.  The area has a long history matching most of the historic conquests of Italy: it was occupied by the Gaul’s, colonized by the Romans, later it was invaded by the Goths and Lombard’s, then by Charlemagne.  It was then mostly a papal state before finally being annexed in the mid-1800’s by the kingdom of Italy. 

Merlot vs Syrah: Which Varietal Blooms Brightest in Washington?

Say “Oregon” and Pinot Noir comes to mind. Argentina? Malbec. And who can say “Shiraz” without thinking of Australia? But what grape will Washington wine country claim as it’s own as it expands in production and popularity? There are so many red treasures in this state, sometimes it is hard to say. But after my luscious Saturday tasting, I’m thinking Syrah and Merlot may duke it out for the prize.

Peju Province Winery

The Vibe: 

Visitors to the Peju tasting room enjoy several unique experiences. They are walked through a systematic tasting, with an attendee carefully pouring and explaining as they go, while not being distracted by newcomers. If they wander into the newest wing of the tasting space, they can marvel at the exquisite quartzite floors that reportedly echo the owner’s impression of a stone Persian rug. Owner Tony Peju, originally of Iran, and his Austrian born wife, founded the winery in the mid-1980s after years of running a successful high end landscaping business. Their devotion to fine art, sculpture, and gardens is apparent as soon as one enters the drive, as the carefully pruned Sycamore trees beckon you in. Lush gardens and an antique stained glass window, coupled with their open-late reputation (unlike many of their neighbors, Peju’s doors are open until 6pm) no doubt help make this one of the most profitable tasting rooms in Napa.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Art Enthusiasts (stained glass, sculpture)
  • Garden Enthusiasts
  • Groups (no buses though)
  • People looking to taste after 4:30
  • Private tours and tastings
  • Private or Corporate Events (up to about 135 people)
Not good for: 
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
  • Those in a hurry (guests may need to wait for a tasting spot during busy periods)
Known For: 
Provence (red and white blend, Cab Franc, Fifty / Fifty (Merlot/Cab blend)
Pictures: 
Willow Creek

Locations

8466 St. Helena Hwy
Rutherford, CA 94573
United States
38° 27' 14.0436" N, 122° 25' 5.6568" W
8466 St. Helena Hwy
Rutherford, CA 94573
United States
38° 27' 14.0436" N, 122° 25' 5.6568" W
Phone Number: 
8004467358
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2004 Lolonis Merlot - IntoWine TV Episode 14

Jessup Cellars

The Vibe: 

Just up the street from the French Laundry, in the quaint Napa town of Yountville, Jessup Cellars sits in a modest strip. The winery’s namesake, Mark Jessup, spent years as a winemaker for Robert Mondavi, and was the first winemaker of Opus One. Today, you can try his own Bordeaux blend (Table for Four), zinfandel, merlot and chardonnay in a cozy venue. In addition to his wines, gourmet olive oil and works by artist Edmund Ian Grant are available for sale in the tasting room.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Jessup wines
  • Small, private tastings

 

Not good for: 
  • Large groups/buses
  • Tours
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
Known For: 
Table for Four (Bordeaux Blend), Zin, Merlot, Chardonnay
Pictures: 

Locations

6740 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 21.6036" N, 122° 21' 59.6268" W
6740 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
38° 24' 21.6036" N, 122° 21' 59.6268" W
Phone Number: 
7079448523

Whitehall Lane Winery

The Vibe: 

Simple, spare and an ode to good cabernet, fans of the highly regarded Whitehall Lane wines will appreciate the down to earth experience offered in the modest tasting room along the St. Helena Highway. Founded in the late 1970s, the tasting room building is a throw back to the “modern” look of a few decades past (though a new building is currently under construction on the property), and serves up tastings of the estate’s esteemed Cabernet, as well as merlot, chardonnay and pinot.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Fans of Whitehall Lane Cab
  • Quiet, involved conversation w/ friendly tasting room staff
Not good for: 
  • Events
  • Large groups
  • Tours
  • Picnics
  • Shoppers
Known For: 
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot

Locations

1563 South St. Helena Highway
Saint Helena, CA 94574
United States
38° 30' 24.1452" N, 122° 28' 21.882" W
1563 South St. Helena Highway
Saint Helena, CA 94574
United States
38° 30' 24.1452" N, 122° 28' 21.882" W
Phone Number: 
7079639454

Markham Vineyards

The Vibe: 

Another historic property in the heart of Napa Valley, the roots of this winery date from the late 19th century. Current owner Bruce Markham came along in the late 1970s, producing his first vintage in 1978. In addition to traditional style wines, visitors to the tasting cellar can enjoy the rotating art installation and a selection of for-sale items.

Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Art buffs
  • Napa history buffs
  • Tours (by appt only)
  • Private events
  • Corporate events
Not good for: 
  • Tour busses
  • Weddings
  • Picnics
Known For: 
Reserve Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon
Pictures: 
The Entrance to Markham
Markham Tasting Counter
Inside the tasting room
Markham Gallery
The Markham Gallery
Shopping at Markham Winery
The entrance to Markham Winery

Locations

2812 North St. Helena Highway
Saint Helena, CA 94574
United States
38° 30' 18.828" N, 122° 28' 13.2276" W
2812 North St. Helena Highway
Saint Helena, CA 94574
United States
38° 30' 18.828" N, 122° 28' 13.2276" W
Phone Number: 
7079635292
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