Winemaker Merry Edwards describes the Russian River Valley as "the epicenter of great Pinot Noir," and she produces wines that express the unique characteristics of the soils, climates, and Pinot Noir clones from which they derive. (Edwards's research into Pinot Noir clones is so extensive that there's even one named after her.) The valley's advantages, says Edwards, are warmer-than-average daytime temperatures that encourage more intense fruit, and evening fogs that mitigate the extra heat's potential negative effects. Group tastings of the well-composed single-vineyard and blended Pinots take place throughout the day, and there are five sit-down appointment slots available except on Sunday. Edwards also makes a fine Sauvignon Blanc that's lightly aged in old oak. Tastings end, rather than begin, with this singular white wine so as not to distract guests' palates from the Pinot Noirs.
2959 Gravenstein Hwy. N/Hwy. 116, near Oak Grove Ave., Sebastopol, California, 95472, United States