Matanzas Creek Winery in Sonoma Valley was founded in 1977 by Bill and Sandra MacIver. The 69-acre estate quickly became known for Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, earning excellent reviews for those wines. In 2000 the MacIvers sold the estate to Jess Jackson, owner of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and the Artisan & Estates group of boutique wineries. Today the estate makes a wider range of wines. Though still known for Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot, it also produces Syrah and a premium line of wines under the Journey label.
The Merlot grape is such a deep blue that it is named for the blackbird. It’s an early ripening grape and one of the primary varietals used In Bordeaux. Merlot is also grown in the "International style," which is harvested later to bring out more tannins and body.