Meyer Family Cellars’ provenance is directly connected to some of California’s most legendary winemaking. The Yorkville, family-owned estate is operated by the husband-and-wife team of Matt and Karen Meyer. Matt’s parents are Bonny Meyer, who remains an active partner in the estate, and the late Justin Meyer, a legendary figure who with Bonny and business partner Ray Duncan founded Silver Oak Cellars in 1972. Justin, who trained as a winemaker when he was a Christian Brothers monk before later earning a viticulture degree, was the Silver Oaks winemaker and his Cabernet Sauvignons were famous and highly coveted. The Meyer family sold their interest in Silver Oak in 2001 to concentrate on Meyer Family Cellars. Today Matt and Karen, who both earned university degrees in enology, share winemaking duties. The estate primarily produces Syrah from the Yorkville Highlands appellation, Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, and Port made with grapes sourced from Lodi and Mendocino. Chardonnay, Rosé and Petite Sirah are also produced.
Mendocino AVA was established in 1984 and amended in 1989. It includes numerous sub-appellations. Mendocino AVA is entirely within Mendocino County, and the AVA is known for its Mediterranean climate. Vintners successfully grow Carignan, Charbono, Grenache, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Syrah. In cooler parts of the region Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are also grown. Mendocino County is home to nearly 600 vineyards, and many have been certified organic for decades, thanks to the region’s famous “green and sustainable” approach to agriculture and nearly everything else. Mendocino was named for 16th century explorers, a pair of brothers whose last name was Mendoza. Winemaking, however, didn’t start until the 19th century when some would-be gold miners decided it was more profitable to make wine than to pan for gold. Italian immigrants in the late 19th century continued to establish winemaking ventures.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.