MERRILL-MONSERRAT Tempranillo, Albarino, and soon Garnacha.
My Mothers name is Maria Victoria Elesperu Monserrat Merrill. She was Spanish and Basque. She always wanted a vineyard. In 2012 while checking the fruit at my favorite supplier I found he had the most awarded Tempranillo grapes, and the Spanish adventure began. I had enjoyed Spanish Rioja Tempranillo's for years. Now the challenge was to create my American version. Off to Spain on the first of several trips researching the secrets of Rioja. First, I discovered that a majority of Rioja's had Garnacha (Grenache) in 5%-10% blends to give better aromatics and soften the sometimes bitter tannins on the finish.
Secondly, I discovered my new favorite wine wine from Galicia Spain called Albarino. Oregon Albarino's never tasted like that! The problem was that grape takes a lot of heat and a long growing season. Yakima Valley solved that, and now after two years of wonderful Albarino we have another wine niche.
These would make my mother proud.