Mike joined in the Beer Revolution in his home state of Texas in 1993 and began brewing in earnest. This love of beverage culminated in a trip to Corvallis, Oregon, to attend a Fermentation Science course at the University of Oregon in 1997. On a field trip to the professorís house, Mike was introduced to home winemaking and back-yard viticulture. With his interest piqued, he joined his friend for harvests starting in 1998, and became hooked on the Willamette Valley wine scene. In 2006 he bought a vineyard under contract to Owen Roe, which allowed him to make his first four barrels of wine. It received a 90 from the Wine Spectator. After that, the decision was made to sell fewer grapes and make more wine. The majority of the grapes are still sold to Owen Roe, which makes their Merriman Vineyard, Kilmore, and Sharecroppers from the grapes. Production of Merriman Estate, the second label Cummins Road, as well as a Rose, will reach 1000 cases by harvest 2011.
Mike met head winemaker at Owen Roe, Erik Brasher, in 2008. Erik is a trained oenologist, as well as viticulturalist. When Erik left Owen roe, Mike soon followed, and the decision was made to make wine together. Erik discovered the old vine Chenin blanc vineyard in Yakima, Washington, and tends the grapes of just one block. This is the only Merriman Wines product that comes from outside the Merriman Vineyard.
We hope you enjoy our wines as much as we've enjoyed making them. If you have any questions about our wines or our approach to winemaking feel free to contact us.